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Thread: stuff picky kids will eat?

  1. #1

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    Default stuff picky kids will eat?

    Hi all! I joined the forum because I recently went vegetarian and I am trying to get my family to go along with it, basically.

    My 7 year old daughter has medical issues and after some research I believe it is because of a dairy allergy. Many with her condition report that vegan diets result in less pain and symptoms. Incidentally, my husband is having heart issues and going along with the whole thing mostly without a fight. (Unless the food tastes too weird.) And that is the problem!

    I had to change a broccoli cheese soup recipe that called for nutritional yeast because my family couldn't tolerate the taste. I ended up adding flour and rice milk and making it taste somewhat like real creamy broccoli soup. They refuse to eat anything with nutritional yeast and after a tofu mishap my daughter is completely closed to the idea of tofu. Holy crap, I am so new at this! I give them leeway when I mess up a recipe, but honestly they are getting more and more stand offish with each mishap.

    My daughter in particular is the one I am concerned about because of her medical issues. She is SO PICKY that even before this she would only eat top ramen, PB&J, Spaghettios.... ya know, junky kid food. I found some vegan chicken nuggets that she will eat. I even found Vegan "Top Ramen" (its WONDERFUL) but she won't eat it because there are veggies in it. She loves all fruit and applesauce. We have found terrific recipes that my husband and I LOVE and she won't eat them.

    Can anyone help with kid tested recipes that (preferably) are also visibly appealing, etc? Also, does anyone have any tips on white bread without dairy? I have found wheat and sour dough, but she won't eat either. Also, I am willing to experiment but I am NOT an accomplished cook so fast easy recipes are better.

    *I have attempted to appeal to her about the animals and tell her things like "you wouldn't want to eat our cat, would you?" but the diary part of the explanation is a little abstract for her, she doesn't understand that there are "animals" in white bread, lol. I have also tried to appeal to her disease and say she will feel better this way... but its catching less than the animal part. GAH! I am so frustrated! I feel like this has been relatively easy for ME, but getting the family on board is hard.

    I know this post is really long, sorry! Any tips? Pointers? De-stress techniques? Recipes? Products I can order online? Suicide pacts? Anything!

  2. #2
    cobweb
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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    hmm, it can be difficult!

    my son is ULTRA picky - he is on the autistic spectrum and has food phobias. It's saddening because he was literally raised on vegetables, fruit, bread and potatoes but as he got a little older became afraid of certain foods.

    i find that my son will enthusiastically eat baked potaotes, vegan burgers/sausages/fish-style fingers/nuggets, and he used to love veggiemince (which i can no longer get!) with pasta. The veggiemince was handy because i used to liquidise vegetables and add them to the sauce.

    for other children i've fed who will eat fruit and veg, i serve them up raw on a plate with little sections, and make them look pretty - carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, etc, really colourful. Also soya yoghurts with bits of fruit and chocolate soya milk are good.

  3. #3
    cobweb
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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    there's a nice book you can get but it's veggie (not vegan), i think it's called Herb the Vegetarian Dragon.

    Also there's some good info online on the vegan society website and on VIVA!.

  4. #4
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    I'm not a parent but I've been told that involving the children themselves in food selection/preparation can help to persuade them to eat things they normally wouldn't. Someone told me about this (non-vegetarian) blog by a woman whose son is not keen on vegetables:

    http://greatbigvegchallenge.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Cake Fairy Cherry's Avatar
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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    Hi Hilarebel,

    As Harpy says - Have you tried involving your daughter in the food preparation? It worked with my nephew. Sometimes it can take the pressure off the moment you present the new food, and if they've had a bit of time to get used to it while they've been chopping it up etc.. it might seem a bit less frightening!

    Cobweb's liquidising idea is great too. You can hide LOADS of liquidised veg in a pasta sauce. My sister used to grate cauliflower into her step-son's maccaroni cheese He still swears to this day that he hates cauliflower and has never eaten it, but he loves her maccaroni cheese! The raw veg idea is good too ... my boyfriend still prefers raw carrot and peas that are still frozen!

    Have you thought about getting a breadmaker? Most of the recipes you get in the little booklet that comes with it call for milk powder, but you just miss that out and it makes no difference. I know bread without dairy is harder to get hold of in the US than the UK.

    You could try pizza with liquidised veg in the tomato sauce and let your daughter put on her own toppings (with or without vegan cheese) or mashed potato with peas in it or other veg mashed in (like carrot or turnip). I have lots of easy recipe ideas on my website that could be useful, although I need to extend the children's recipes section - it has too much sweet stuff!

  6. #6

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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    Hi,
    My two children like the complete opposite of each other most of the time! One likes creamy sauce and the other tomato etc etc. If yours like creamy sauces, soups and so on then it might be worth using liquidised silken tofu to give it more protein. One quick easy cook recipie I use a lot is Sweet and sour tofu and veg from "easy vega cooking" (leah leneman) .I use ordinary onions and tin tomatos with cashews instead of almonds because the kids prefer them, it is my quick meal that all enjoy. Getting them involved is a good idea but I have had my 2 year look at me with disgust when I've suggested eating somthing he has spent half an hour making!!
    good luck
    Janet

  7. #7

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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    Thanks for the advice everyone. The last few weeks I have just been experimenting. It's hit and miss with the kid. So far she will eat shake-n-bake tofu and any type of vegan cookies I can find/make/buy, lol. Kids are hard. boo

  8. #8
    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    I'm definitely not a parent, but I was a really, really picky eater. I was raised omni, though. I wish I had been raised vegan as its the only stuff I really like... Anyway, my parents just made an ultimatum that I either eat what was on the plate, or I didn't eat. I went to my room a lot with an empty stomach because I simply didn't like the food. Eventually, I learned to eat what was offered or I'd be hungry! I suppose this would eventually work for vegan food. Also, I think it's a great idea to have the kids involved in food preparation.

    As far as food, I think you can still keep it child friendly, like peanut butter w/ carrots/ celery, hummus on bread, and soups. Maybe just sneak some veggies in there on the sandwiches and soups. The nut yeast thing may takegetting used to - maybe add some soy milk/ rice milk to make it thicker and "milkier" tasting.
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

  9. #9

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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    She has been helping me prepare dinner almost every night. But she won't even think about eating a veggie. I am thinking about doing some of those "sneaky" recipes. Seinfeilds wife wrote a book I heard about where she pureed colliflower and put it in brownies and stuff like that. As soon as I get better at cooking vegan I think I will try some of those tricks.

  10. #10
    cherished emmapresley's Avatar
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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    aww..keep on making and offering the stuff though.

    my ten yr old will try anything now *yay* and will eat pretty much what i make..my older girl won't even try anything that's specifically (or unintentionly) vegan..won't be involved in the preparation of any of it and flat out refuses to eat anything but the bare minimum of a very limited range of foods. so i empathise. (she hates nutritional yeast too..i'm guilty of trying to sneak it into foods)

    the shoving a load of veg into a sauce thing works really well though...try different soups too? maybe smaller batches so you don't feel demoralised when (if) they turn their noses up at it..can always freeze it for yourself for later
    ahronli sed ah dunit so thid tek thuh cheyus graytuh offa mi nihbles

  11. #11

    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    My cure for my son's picky eating...

    <drumroll>

    ...wait until he's hungry.


    Yep. Then his palate expands exponentially.
    I also make sure to feed him the "healthy" stuff first, by not even offering something else until later.
    He used to be picky, and he still is when he has the freedom to be picky. However, we decided that he couldn't boss us around like line cooks all day long, so we put a stop to it at home.
    He's eaten healthier and better lately, and we've saved ourselves of a big headache.
    context is everything

  12. #12
    pat sommer's Avatar
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    Default Re: stuff picky kids will eat?

    Ya, hunger softens up my little one too.
    We also have a two-little-bites rule for new foods. I tell her that her taste buds probably won't like it at first 'cause her body has to see if it is good for her then later she will get a taste for it. she seems to accept that explanation. Just getting used to the smell of new foods is half the battle anyway. Also texture: slippy slimy is her big NO.

    What worked for me is finding her favorite flavors (tomato sauce with basil or fennel; garlic/rosemary) and her favorite texture (mash potato or noodles) to introduce veg. It's now several bites before she discovers an offending vegetable!

    Onions and, surprisingly, eggplant are great as sauce/soup bases for adding other veg into the puree. I have a pot of onion simmering slowly as I speak. Even her papa needs a few extra discreet veggies....

    Oh, and how about smoothies? My mother with her dentures really does experiment and, wow, I didn't notice the parsley or pumpkin seeds in the berry smoothie....

    Good Luck!
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

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