After our meal last night I got a sudden urge for chocolate pudding. I had spotted a bunch of ripened avocados from Costco in the fridge early, so I blame them for putting these thoughts in my head!
While eating our veggie burgers, green beans, and broccoli I asked the girls, “Who’s going to help me make Avocado Chocolate Pudding!?“
Naomi, my three year old, nearly fell as she ran over to our awesome Learning Tower (the stand we use when the girls help us cook). Here’s the link for Canadians and everyone else if you want to check it out.
I plopped her in the Learning Tower, and 5 minutes later our Avocado Chocolate Pudding was ready (recipe below).
Mackenzie, my one year old, had a few pieces of broccoli left on her tray, and before I knew it I was plunging a floret into my bowl of pudding. My girls looked at me like I was nuts, and Keith shook his head (he’s no longer surprised by my bizarre combinations and mealtime tricks).
Mackenzie’s appetite was reignited when she saw a chocolate-dipped broccoli back on her tray. Note: she’s never had anything chocolate-y before, so it’s not like she knew it was going to taste delish! She was simply intrigued.
Here she is…three pieces and a chocolate-smeared face later.
I shared this with my Instagram followers and have been receiving private messages from parents thanking me for helping them think about of the box. And a few also mentioned that their pretty thrilled about “getting permission” from a Family Nutritionist to have chocolate with dinner. Yes, I approve!
What the picky eating research says:
Children are more likely to try new foods when they are paired with sweet flavours. Don’t worry! It’s not a forever thing. Eventually kids do away with the sweet addition altogether and just eat the new food on it’s own.
What I love about this is that by adding a preferred flavour, while they are licking or sucking on the chocolate pudding, they are also touching, feeling, smelling, and likely tasting their non-preferred food (like broccoli). So it helps get their sensory system familiar with those foods. Brilliant right?!
Try this with your picky eater:
Dip a new food in something palatable/sweet…and don’t worry about the nutrition for now. That is not the goal. It could be honey, BBQ sauce, ketchup, date paste, maple syrup, honey mustard, and yes, even avocado chocolate pudding.
Even if your child only licks the sweet stuff, I assure you they are still experiencing the “new food” from a sensory standpoint.
Here’s that Chocolate Avocado Pudding recipe if you’d like to see what all the fuss was about!
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cacao powder
- 1/4 maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or coconut butter
- 1/4 cup dairy-free milk (start with less and add until blender/food processor is moving well)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Blend all ingredients.
- Enjoy with broccoli!
I’ve also made an Avocado Carob Pudding (which I like for kids because carob has no caffeine).
So let’s see what crazy things you’ll be dipping your veggies in tonight!