Operation Enduring Picky Eaters Vol. 1 - Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much Blog at Allrecipes.com - 225566

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

Operation Enduring Picky Eaters Vol. 1 
Mar. 3, 2011 6:06 pm 
Updated: Mar. 4, 2011 8:25 pm

Sweet Potatoes for my Sweet Potaters

I am a mother of two young children a 5 year old daughter and a two year old son.   My daughter has always been below weight and fights us like crazy at meal time.  My two year old used to eat everything until he started being like big sister, add on to that his allergies of dairy, egg, nuts, shellfish, and mushrooms.  And I’m really battling the food Gods.  I’m also the wife of a late 30ish guy who happens to have red hair and a stubborn eating history to match.  I on the other hand love to experiment, have a small list of food dislikes and am quite daring with trying a new flavor profile nightly.  Needless to say, when we come together at night for dinner we all clash.    So my hope is to give my kids some fun food experiences get their palates adventurous – attempt to throw in some nutrition, and at the same time see my husband clean his plate once in a while.  I usually clean my plate, while he eats only half.  He tells people, “My wife is an excellent cook; she just has the misfortune to be married to a bad taster.” 

So I’m glad to say I had a breakthrough of sorts—

Last night’s adventure/new food was the Sweet Potato. Not Sweet Potato fries -- Granted it sounds like I won’t succeed right?   But, I was attempting to buy organic veggies and these were on sale.  I only bought two large ones.  One for my husband and me.  We would then give the kids “tastes;”  they each got about 3 TB of mashed of sweet potato.

I found this recipe:    


This could be considered un-healthy, but I used dairy-free margarine, brown sugar, and honey which has many health qualities.  But a little went a long way.  My kids ate some.  This in itself was a miracle.   And said they liked it.  Did they want more than a small taste?  No, but maybe next time they will get their own potato.    My husband ate all of his.  He even said he might have sweet potatoes at the next Thanksgiving.  This was a victory won.   

This was served with roasted chicken, and green beans.  My kids love chicken so it was a good pairing.   I really liked this recipe it was very easy, and even the leftover butter mixture was delicious on toast the next morning. You should try it, it’s apparently similar to the topping used at Outback Steakhouse.


What do you do to introduce picky kids to great new foods?  Love to hear any ideas.  

Honey Topped Sweet Potato
Photo Detail
Mar. 3, 2011 6:41 pm
Thanks for posting about picky eaters! My daughter is 2 and fights like crazy at dinner time, she only eats breakfast half the time. I consider the fact that she actually at 1/2 of a slice of carrot at lunch today a success and 2 spoons of peas the other day- it's a challenge! I've done things like calling them character names - she watched Veggie Tales and I called the peas "The French Peas" and she thought it was hilarious to eat them after that, and I let her play with her food and dip it into milk if she likes, as long as she's eating and not just making a crazy mess!
Mar. 4, 2011 4:09 am
Good for you! There are no options here at dinner time...what I make is what we are having. I ignore any picky tendencies (I'm lucky that there are few) and just shrug and say "Maybe you'll like it next time". No pressure to finish all of anything, no bribes with dessert. They eat until they are full and nothing more. My only stipulation is that they MUST try at least one bite of something. Palates change over time and I avoid at all costs calling a child picky (to her face at least) in the hopes of not giving her the excuse of "I'm picky I don't have to eat that". I also did very well at not preparing the typical kid foods like mac n cheese, hotdogs, or nuggets...my kids ate "grown up food" with us at dinner. Stand your ground, be firm but relaxed about it. And remember, they won't starve! Best of luck. :)
Mar. 4, 2011 5:23 am
Here are some options: You can hide a multitude of sins (like vegetables, lol) in spaghetti sauce. Just shred carrots, mince peppers, even spinach. Casseroles like chicken pot pie include veggies and are kid friendly too. Kids love anything that is finger friendly...or, allow them to assemble their own wrap of grilled veggies, and anything that can be dipped. Give them smallish portions so that they are not intimidated by giant servings. Include them in shopping for a new veggie, let them pick it out and help prepare it. Little tricks like calling this "special, secret, grown-ups only, treat". :)
Mar. 4, 2011 8:57 am
I understand your children are quite young but Citrus Punch has a nice idea of having her children participate in the making of the meal. Even a 5 year old can "assist" to her hearts content!
Mar. 4, 2011 10:54 am
Hi Missy, I did a blog on picky eaters not so long ago that ended up with some really really good tips on getting your kids over the pickys. It's here :&#10;&#10;http://allrecipes.com/Cook/10131168/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=218605
Mar. 4, 2011 8:25 pm
Thanks all, for the comments. I'm hoping for a lot more success. My kids are funny they are 10 times more likely to eat a veggie -- like broccoli or peas. But fruits --yucky. Then I realized it might be my fault veggies last longer and are easier to prepare so I serve them more now I'm thinking that fruits are to be included as a side dish as often as veggies or best of both worlds together. Oh, and the only thing my kids like to dunk things in is ketchup and syrup. Carrots and ketchup have happened in this household.
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Melissa Wilson Martin

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About Me
I am a former school librarian and history teacher. Now I stay at home with my daughter and son. After I quit working I started cooking and looking up recipes to fill the void. 20 pounds later I'm actually trying to cut back. But, now try and find healthier options.
My favorite things to cook
My favorite things to cook are main meals. I can't have the same thing in a month's time. Why should I if there are so many options out there? My new favorite thing to do is make spaghetti from scratch instead of a bottle. My world has definitely improved since this wonderful discovery.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cheez Whiz on celery at Thanksgiving. It's the small memories from childhood that mean a lot to me. I also remember making Christmas candy trays for friends and neighbors during the Christmas season. So I always try and make something homemade to give to neighbors during the holidays.
My cooking triumphs
I won the church Halloween dessert bake-off. A French Apple Pie. Actually won in the apple category and the best tasting desert. Finally making my first real meal of enchilada's taste good enough to eat.
My cooking tragedies
My best friend and I attempted to make a cake from scratch not from a box. It came out lop sided and really ugly especially after we tie dyed frosted it, and named it the ugly cake. Tasted awful to.
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