Friday, March 30, 2012

Food Issues

My sweet and happy Smug-Baby is starting to be more and more picky about what she eats and I am starting to think about how to get her to eat more of the food items that I think she should be eating and less of the foods that she likes best but don't carry much nutritional punch.

She loves cream of wheat, crackers with peanut butter, dried apples and potatoes. These are things that she will eat over and over. She also likes pancakes and eggs and will eat most of the items on the Indian food buffet (which I love because that food is full of beans and veggies - things she won't eat at home). The problem is that she used to eat everything, if I gave her little pieces of green pepper she would eat them up and ask for more! The same with cucumbers, veggie burgers, corn on the cob and everything else! Now IF she will try something, she spits it out more often than not.

She doesn't often get things like cookies (she currently thinks that the granola I made is cookies and that is totally fine with me) or goldfish or other "snack" foods from a box and we make sure that she sits with us at the table for dinner and has her own plate of whatever Smug-Hub and I are eating. We don't discourage her from having bites of food from our plates since we are all eating the same thing, however if she doesn't like the look of it she won't even try it and once she tries and decides she doesn't like it, it's over and she won't try it again.

I have been giving some thought to ways to help her eat more completely and I really like the idea of sneaking foods into other dishes that she already likes to help boost her nutritional intake, but I am kind of feeling lost about how to go about it. I read in Kiwi today about pureeing spinach and adding it to scrambled eggs and since Smug-Baby loves eggs, this might be a good trick to get her to eat some green veggies.

I have Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, and I need to pull it out and see about adapting some of the recipes. She has a new book out too that I may want to try to get and see if I can get some more ideas. I think that as Smug-Baby gets older I can entice her with food displayed in fun ways like Mama Pea did in this post, but for now she is more focused on eating whatever food it is that she is craving at the moment and not interested in much else. Once she decides something is yucky, she remembers that it was yucky and for the most part will not give it another chance, so I want to be careful about how I go about sneaking more veggies into her diet. I am thinking about things like adding a squash puree into pancake batter and adding blueberries to double the punch or putting veggie purees into pasta sauce and stuff like that, but there is another issue to consider.

If I always sneak her veggies into her food, will she ever learn to like veggies on their own? I remember seeing an interview with someone famous (of course now I can't remember who) who said that she hid the nutritious foods in her kids meals, but always had a side of veggies that she encouraged them to try. This way, even if she wasn't able to get them to eat the veggies, they were still eating some without knowing about it and yet knew that veggies were going to be part of every meal. Again, I am just not sure Smug-Baby is old enough try that with and frankly, I don't have the money to serve veggies that are going to be thrown onto the floor!!

I guess, bottom line is that I need to start finding ways to get more veggies into her diet and take it day by day, week by week as to how to proceed with trying to get her interested in eating some of these wonderful foods in their natural form. If anyone out there has any great tips or tricks, please pass them along!!

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