Your child won’t eat veggies…until now!

Your child won’t eat veggies…until now!

Why won’t my kid eat veggies???  [you ask as you tug the hair on your head].   So frustrating right! Our little ones are willing to try a new cookie or cupcake.  No problem there. But try a new veggie (or any veggie in some cases)?  Heck no! So what’s up with the veggie haters? A few factors come to play here: (1) Kids know how badly we want them to eat those vegetables and will do the opposite of what parents want (through to the hormonal teenage years, I’ve been told).  Our little ones can see and sense our desperation to get some carrots, cauliflower or other veggies into their repertoire of foods.  If there’s even a subtle pressure to eat them and they will turn away. (2) High carbohydrate and less nutrient-dense foods simply taste better.  They also offer more energy with fewer bites.  I talk more about kid’s love for carbs here. (3) Vegetables can be difficult to eat.  They are fibrous and require more effort to chew, hence kids will opt for foods that require less work and time at the table (so they can get back to playing). (4) Genetics.  Some children are classified as “super tasters” meaning they have a gene that makes the bitterness in veggies more pronounced. “Part of the pickiness can be attributed to specific genes that govern taste. Variants of the TAS2R38 gene, for example, have been found to encode for taste receptors that determine how strongly someone tastes bitter flavours.” (Source) Whether your little one is carb-crazy or a “super taster”, it does not mean they will forever be veggie-haters. Being “picky” today doesn’t always mean they’ll be “picky” tomorrow Research...
AMAZING Black Bean Brownies

AMAZING Black Bean Brownies

This is THE Black Bean Brownie that blew my mind in this video. It’s the Black Bean Brownie one that got me through my workout that evening, because I knew it was waiting for me at the end.  Especially after chasing the kids around all day…which is a workout in itself!   If only I had the energy of a 1 year old. It’s the Brownie that really isn’t a “brownie” if we’re getting down to semantics and specifics. Brownie (defined): a dessert that consists of melted chocolate bars, cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and butter or margarine. So part of what makes this brownie so mind-blowing is the fact that it DOES NOT have eggs, a crap ton of sugar, and chocolate.  Instead the main ingredient is a healthy one - black beans.  Next up is whole oats, followed by nutrient-packed coconut oil.  THEN the sweetener follows as the third or fourth ingredient…not the first. It also contains ZERO nuts as many gluten-free recipes do.  So that makes it a perfect nut-free healthy snack for lunch boxes everywhere as Back to School season starts. Being intolerant to egg whites, I was particularly excited.  [there are few egg-free baked goods I can enjoy…for now] Being a mom, I was doubly excited being able to give these health-ified brownies to my girls. Being a Nutritionist who works with picky eaters, I was thrilled to have a chocolate snack most little ones will enjoy and know they are getting a protein punch. If this face doesn’t convince you of just how happy I was, I don’t know what will! 😉 So without further adieu, let me introduce you to...
Healthy Breakfast for Kids {Speedy Oatmeal Scramble}

Healthy Breakfast for Kids {Speedy Oatmeal Scramble}

I can always count on a few of the moms in my private Facebook Group to throw out some stellar family-friendly AND picky eater-friendly recipes.  This oatmeal and scrambled egg hybrid was recommended by one of those savvy mamas (shout out to Stephanie Doyle!).   Here’s what drew me to this healthy breakfast for kids: It’s quick! It requires less effort vs. making a smoothie, pancakes, etc. You likely have all the ingredients It has more protein than your average breakfast (to keep their blood sugars stable) It has a little healthy fat too It’s different than the same ol’ boring breakfast (variety is essential if we want to get our kids out of a picky eating rut) There’s no better time to try a new healthy breakfast recipe on your family then a hectic Monday morning (ha!). I was feeling ambitious, however my girls were not feeling all that adventurous.  Thankfully I had two other guinea pigs who were willing to humour me  - my husband and my brother, who was visiting us. First up….my hubby Keith, who gave it a thumbs up.  YES! Secondly…my brother, who took the breakfast to go.  In the words of Uncle Steve… YES!  YES! Now I just need to get my girls on board. They took their oatmeal scramble for a snack today, so I’ll find out at 4pm whether this quick and healthy breakfast for kids was a thumbs up with mine.  Even if they come back with their containers full of the oatmeal scramble, I will make it again…and again….and again. Because as we know, it can take 15+ tries before a new food becomes a “preferred food”. So now what do I call this concoction? Scrambled Egg Oatmeal Protein-Packed Oatmeal Oatmeal and...
20 High Calorie Foods for Kids (pssst…they’re healthy too!)

20 High Calorie Foods for Kids (pssst…they’re healthy too!)

From the day my daughter was born (at 4.5 pounds), to the day she turned one year (12 pounds 13 ounces), she remained petite…and by definition “underweight”.  The growth charts never let me forget how small she was, or that 99.9% of children her age were bigger than her. It was tough not to let her growth define my success as her mom. If my daughter Sienna was growing well, I was succeeding.  If she wasn’t gaining weight, I felt like I was failing. As a big-time foodie myself (I’m Italian!), I couldn’t comprehend how MY little girl wanted nothing to do with food or the dinner table. My underweight daughter was also an “extremely picky eater“.  Needless to say, stress levels were sky high. We were well supported, but I lacked confidence as our pediatrician and specialists urged us to focus on high calorie foods for our daughter who ate so poorly.  I cringed when I heard them recommend “milkshakes, french toast, and mayonnaise” as part of their dietary protocol. I knew high calorie foods were important for my child’s growth.  But why wasn’t the focus on foods that offer both quantity and quality of calories? Growing well is one thing.   Thriving well is another. As a Certified Holistic Nutritionist I had my own tricks up my sleeve… High calorie foods for kids should also be high in nutrition. Even if my little one was ONLY eating a measly mouthful, I knew it could be packed with calories.  More importantly, nutrition. Out of curiosity, I googled “high calorie foods for underweight babies and kids”.   The foods listed: Waffles Cookies Ice cream Whipping cream Crackers Cream cheese Umm, something seems to be missing here… NUTRITION! After multiple failed Google searches, I compiled a list of...
Easy Strawberry Chia Fruit Roll-Ups

Easy Strawberry Chia Fruit Roll-Ups

I must really love my husband, because he’s finally convinced me to take our two girls (both under 3.5 years old) camping.   Now, I really do love camping - being one with nature, technology-free, and cooking over a campfire. The outdoors is part of my DNA…I’m just not sold on the idea of tenting it with young kids (especially one who is in the midst of being potty trained).   Nor am I sold on eating “camp food” for 3 days.   Unless it includes strawberry chia fruit roll-ups (hint, hint). If we’re not sleeping much (my girls are acrobatic in their sleep) and required to be “on” 24/7 (making sure no one gets lost in the bush), we need fuel from some good-for-me food.  So do our little ones. Therein lies my challenge. Pull up any camping menu and you’re bound to find a lot of white and brown foods.  Bread and meat.  Meat and bread.  And maybe some cheese too. Can’t we have something green, blue, or red to eat? Camping is one of those times the 80/20 rule becomes the 60/40 rule.  We will eat nutrient-dense foods 60 percent of the time and nutrient-dense (brown and white) foods for the other 40 percent. Because you’ve gotta live right? Just as you can’t have kale chips without kombucha… You can’t have campfires without marshmallow stuffed smores. They go hand-in-hand. So I will relent and relax, and just ‘let’ my family enjoy their 60/40 weekend.  I will enjoy it too, yet it doesn’t mean I’m giving up on nutrition altogether 🙂   I have a few nutrient-dense camping-friendly recipes up my sleeve.  The one I am most excited about takes me back to my childhood...

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