Authored by Sandy Rothra in Food and Cooking
Published on 01-28-2010
Every child occasionally prefers pizza to broccoli. However, some picky eaters choose to eat only one or two types of food and over time we become concerned about their health. If this has gone on for some time, have a doctor rule out a medical condition such as a sensitive gag reflex. There are several ways to convince your child to eat nutritious foods.
Make popsicles from fruit. Puree the whole fruit in a blender. Add just enough sugar to flavor and freeze. You can add a small amount of pureed vegetables to these popsicles and the picky eater will never notice. Some children will eat cooked fruits in pastries or compotes.
Often picky eaters like hot dogs or chicken fingers. Try hot dog muffins. Prepare cornbread mix, slice hot dogs, add the slices to the mix and bake. You can use turkey or chicken hot dogs. You can also use chunks of chicken, ham or beef. If your children like soups, add chucks of meat or poultry to their soup.
Picky eaters may like egg faces. Put lightly buttered toast in the fry pan. Cut holes in the toast for eyes and mouth. Pour scrambled egg over the toast. Turn it over after the egg has set and sprinkle some grated cheese above the eyes to simulate hair or a cap. Serve with jelly if necessary.
Many picky eaters like cheese, which can be added to many foods. Try blending frozen strawberries or peaches with yogurt or milk and sweeten with banana. The frozen fruit and milk will taste like a milkshake. Also, add milk to casseroles or soups.
Since vegetables are the most common foods rejected by picky eaters, try hiding them in accepted foods. Puree broccoli, cauliflower or carrots and mix into hamburgers, pasta sauce, baked goods or scrambled eggs. Cut sweet potatoes, a good source of vitamin A, into strips and bake with seasoning. Eat them like french fries. Since vegetables are naturally bland, try introducing some of the more flavorful ones. Sautéed peppers and onions flavor to other foods. Your picky eater may like these and not consider them vegetables. Try carrots, celery or jicama sticks with peanut butter and raisins. Here is a new way to prepare spinach that may appeal to the picky eaters.
Crispy Spinach (May use any greens)
Prep Time – 5 minutes, Baking Time – 20 minutes, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 6 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Combine oil and vinegar. Drizzle on spinach, then toss to coat.
- Spread out on baking sheet, place on lowest rack of oven, bake for 10 minutes.
- Stir the spinach and return to oven for 8 to 15 minutes until done.
- Spinach is crispy when done. It should not bend.
- Sprinkle with salt and serve right away.
Hiding foods or changing the textures may be your only solution to getting your picky eater to eat the nutritious foods he needs.