Offer each food a million different ways

Offer each food a million different ways

“My daughter doesn’t eat apples.” That’s what I would have said after multiple attempts of giving her sliced apples. I could have (and would have) given up on those darn apples…if I hadn’t worked with families and limited eaters, nor studied children’s eating for years as a Certified Nutritionist and Picky Eating Expert. And another simple ‘picky eating’ solution is born! To us an apple is an apple.  An egg is an egg.  And chicken is chicken.  But how that food shows up on their plate and in their mouth makes a difference.  A big difference! A sliced granny smith apple is completely different from a whole granny smith apple, from both a sensory perspective and oral motor.    And a macintosh apple has a unique taste vs. a red delicious apple. So I knew I had to put my “Picky Eating Expert” hat back on and try a million new ways until I found the winning apple combination.  Ok, maybe not a million 😉 I had try a million dozen different apples.  Royal gala Golden delicious Granny smith Macintosh Red Delicious You get the gist! (and I can’t remember any other varieties at the moment) And I needed to offer that apple a million dozen different ways. Peeled Sliced Thinly sliced Really thinly sliced and peeled Cooked Shredded Half an apple A full apple Dried crunchy Dried soft With dips….and so on.   As I was handing Naomi her apple this morning it dawned on me that this was another simple “picky eating solution” I should share. As you may have guessed, my stubborn yet sweet, two year old Naomi is now an apple lover.  Partly because...
Coconut Yogurt Bark (dairy-free)

Coconut Yogurt Bark (dairy-free)

I’m completing the cheatsheets for the Energy Reboot starting on Monday, including my list of delicious and simple low-sugar treats.  Well, truth be told…I’ve been drooling the whole time!  This Coconut Yogurt Bark was a last minute addition after experimenting with a dairy-free version of one I saw on Pinterest. This recipe was another no-brainer to add to the program: It takes 3 minutes to prep (maybe even less) + freezer time It has 3 ingredients (or more if you choose to get crazy) It was a hit, for me and my little ones Here they are sampling (and loving) the frozen treat last night. I was going to keep it a secret and only share this Coconut Yogurt Bark with the tired moms who took joined the 20-day program, but my excitement got the best of me.  So here I am spilling the beans. A few pointers first: You may want to take it out of the freezer a few minutes before eating, just keep in mind that this stuff melts quickly (so keep a napkin handy). You’re also welcome to use dairy-based yogurt which will turn out just fine. But for those who prefer dairy-free this is the brand I use.     If you have a sweet tooth this is a great lower-sugar snack (4 grams for one piece).  Ultimately though, wouldn’t we all love to have more control over our cravings or none at all? Um yes please! There’s a reason why we gravitate to certain foods - be it chocolate or chips.  And I’ll be showing parents how to tame those cravings in the Energy Reboot (in addition to providing simple 5-minute strategies on boosting energy, health, sleep,...
Why parents should ‘fix’ picky eating early

Why parents should ‘fix’ picky eating early

So my techy husband set up our television at home to function as a digital photo album when the screen is idle (i.e. when my girls aren’t watching Calliou or Frozen for the 20th time).   He’s also a photographer so I have the luxury of seeing beautiful family photos cycle through – photos that bring back mostly pleasant early parenthood memories. Although, the other day I caught a photo that didn’t spark those fond memories in the slightest.  It was a picture of Sienna looking unhappy at the table.  What you can’t see is her anxious mother (me) sitting nearby and wanting so desperately for her to eat more. Those were not my happier days. That photo sucked me in and brought me back to ‘those times’…when I shed tears at the table and truthfully was fearful of mealtimes.  I was a foodie and loved to cook/eat but living with a picky eater took the joy out of eating. It saddens me to think that I spent the better part of time together consumed with getting Sienna to eat better and worried about her nutrition (being a Nutritionist, I knew what she needed).  I worked so darn hard trying to expand her appetite and food favourites, but with no real plan…and no real results. While our wonderful pediatricians were telling us everything was “fine”, my mommy instinct was telling it was not ‘fine’. Sienna was far from fine (she was so unhappy at meals and not interested in food). I was far from fine (I was worried and emotionally exhausted from the constant food battles). I see and speak with so many parents who are in ‘my old shoes’ and I so...
6 Healthy Breakfasts for Picky Eaters

6 Healthy Breakfasts for Picky Eaters

Full disclosure.  Mornings are usually a little messy over here as everyone rolls themselves out of beds and cribs (often feeling hangry).  We’ve all been fasting through the night and are more than ready to refuel our bodies and refill our bellies.  Patience is a virtue although it’s not something our kids have much of. The want breakfast. NOW. And we have to come up with an edible solution. FAST. Especially when Sienna was her pickier-self.  She had no appetite in the morning (not the case anymore!) and breakfast options were limited.  I was desperate for healthy breakfast ideas for picky eaters but I was too darn exhausted to search.  So I stuck to the staples. Now, my kids want breakfast ASAP and often aren’t willing to wait and get some clothes.  So naked breakfasts are typical. To avoid the potential of early morning tantrums, I have a tendency to reach into the cupboards and grab Mary’s crackers to accompany some hummus, or pull out the ol’ Yoso Coconut yogurt from the fridge with some fruit.  It gets repetitive. But I get it!  When you have a picky eater, options aren’t that vast.  At least not the healthy ones. In the morning it’s important to get our family off the right foot with the food they eat.  A sugar-based cereal is going to send their blood sugar way up there and won’t keep them satiated for a good period of time. Even with picky eaters, we can still spice things up in the mornings and do so with a nutrient-punch.  All of the breakfast ideas below include some healthy fats (our little...
Homemade Healthy Raspberry Gummies

Homemade Healthy Raspberry Gummies

It never fails! Every time my 4 year old and I walk into the bulk food store, Sienna makes a beeline for the section with rainbow-filled bins of glowing gummy worms and gummy bears.  Even the healthiest of bulk food stores has candy.  And while it may be “sugar-free” and “organic”, it is still candy. Sienna’s favourite: the gummies.  Ugh. The odd time I’ll begrudgingly toss some in a baggie, and cringe as she eats them.  My sanity saver is that picky eating is in our past - I know she’s a much better eater and gets her nutrition at home. Well, instead of cringing, I decided to make my own homemade healthy gummies that actually had some nutrition to offer. For those parents with fussier eaters who love their sweets, this recipe is going to be a favourite - for you and them! Your ‘picky eaters’ can get their sweet fix while we improve their eating.   Click here to join the webinar These Homemade Healthy Gummies are SOOOO much better than the store bought ones, because: They are made with organic, nutrient-dense and vitamin-packed berries (versus just fruit juice) They only have a bit of sweetener from quality honey (versus simple processed sugar) They are also a source of important amino acids (versus just a sugar hit) Protein in gummies?  That’s right!  The amino acids come from something called Gelatin. What is Gelatin? Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, and flavorless food (thank goodness!) derived from collagen, which we find in animal parts.  The parts that we no longer consume such as skin, tendons, and other gelatinous cuts of meat.   It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food and other products and give gummies their...
5 Reasons Why Kids are Picky Eaters (and what to do about it)

5 Reasons Why Kids are Picky Eaters (and what to do about it)

Dear god, why won’t she just eat? That’s the question I asked myself daily a few years ago.  Actually, who’s kidding who.  I asked it every stinking time I put food in front of my little one.  She was underweight (major source of stress for me) and had zero interest in food.  I desperately wanted to know the reasons why kids are picky eaters and how to fix it. The most painful part was watching her eat (or not eat) next to other little kids her age.  Those moms were chatting away, sipping coffee, and smiling while their little ones noshed on a smorgasbord of food. No bribing, no trickery or iPads to distract them. They just ate. However, if those moms looked my way they would see an anxious mother, struggling to smile, while begging a little girl to have a bite. Just one bite of the meal I worked so hard to prepare.  The comparisons killed me.  And of course, while watching other kids with envy, that question became even more urgent. If I simply knew the reasons why kids became picky eaters, I could find ways to help her.  And, it would help me get through the mealtime misery. I was already a Certified Nutritionist and knew what to feed a smaller child with a limited appetite.  But I lacked what was even more important. I needed to know what was driving her picky eating, so I could determine how to approach meals. I wanted to be able to sit down at a table and feel 110% confident that I wasn’t ‘messing her up’ by bribing and begging her to eat.  Heck, even I have a few lingering food issues...