Monday, May 5, 2008

Pyramid Schmyramid

Dear Tatum,
  Thank goodness you are a great eater.  You often wake up and ask for salad for breakfast.  Yes salad.  You request this wholesome meal with red peppers and tomatoes.  It's music to my ears.  When I make your school lunch, you request edamame, "cut apples," and a turkey sandwich (on whole wheat bread).  You're a delight a restaurants because you eat whatever Mommy and Daddy order for you, even if it's fish tacos or turkey meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  Although you like desserts, your don't devour them.  You daintily eat a few bites of sprinkles, or frosting, and go on your way (allowing me to finish it thankyouverymuch).  It's delightful to feed you.

Dear Chase,
  Although Costco would like to personally thank you for depleting their Dinosaur Chicken Nugget section week after week, you need to know about food diversity.  Annie's Mac n' Cheese and Dinosaur Nuggets for 2 and a half years straight does not exactly constitute as a balanced diet.  Of course when you pair these things with your other favorites, Hawaiian rolls, muffins, cereal, and Goldfish well ... someone just might want to call CPS on Mommy.  You're soon going to turn into a walking Carbohydrate, for your matter is made up of strictly carb particles I'm sure.  PLEASE try some new foods.  There are plenty of kids who actually entertain the crazy concept of a quesadilla, a grilled cheese sandwich, turkey, MEAT of any kind, spaghetti, or soup.  If I don't figure this out soon, you might turn into a Chase-muffin, and although that would be very delicious, I'd rather have a healthy boy to enjoy.

So, I'm asking for help.  Here are a list of things that Chase will eat.  What recipes or hints do you have that could get some PROTEIN in the kid?  He gets cranky without it so we often give him Odwalla (or home-made) protein shakes ... but I'm running short on ideas.

Among his carb-loading goodies, he eats:
*  scrambled eggs
*  broccoli
*  chicken nuggets (just the damn dinosaurs which have about ZERO nutritional value)
*  Mac n' cheese (I've started putting tofu into this)
*  sometimes the occasional meatball
*  protein shakes

HELP.  The kid needs variety.  Ideas?


Lori said...

have you tried putting cheese in the scrambled eggs? Blake likes meatballs but pasta... and just about anything you make with ground meat can be made with ground turkey or chicken, just bump up the spices. What about cheese sticks, Blake likes cheese in any shape or form!

ok Blake likes proteins so that is a harder one for me... now if you could figure out how to get him to eat fruits other than apples and bananas and pretty much any veggie I'd be happy!

Misty said...

Peanut butter?

just jamie said...

Oh yeah, and ALLERGIC to peanuts and not fond of alternate nut-butters :(

Kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tommie said...

Here are a few of the protein things we do (I have to pack a lunch daily of a protein, grain, fruit and veggie): a picnic lunch (which is turkey or ham rolled up) with cheese and 5 grain crackers, do it yourself pizza: muffin, pizza sauce in a cup, turkey pepperoni, and cheese.

quesadillas with any leftover protein chopped super fine

nutella on crackers

amy's organic refried beans rolled in a tortilla.

Almost every one of these satisfy the carb lover, as well as mixing in a tad bit of protein.

I am a huge fan of not forcing my kids to clean their plate, but they do have to take a "no, thank you" bite.

Just today I read in one of my magazines that it takes 15 times to introduce a new food before they might like it. I also tell them that when they have another birthday that the "four" tastebuds might like a food they previously didn't like. They are very into their age, so they try it again.

Kristen said...

Too many spelling errors. I must check more carefully! I really am educated, I promise! :)

1. Cut up small bits of ham in his scrambled eggs. Our kids don't notice the protein that way. Plus, eggs actually are a great source of protein.

2. Will he eat hard boiled eggs?

3. Maybe he would eat some Chicken breast if he got to cut it into neat shapes using his own special cookie cutters? Maybe more appealing that way?

Don't fret Mama! Our Ped. said kids are naturally vegetarians until way past the age of 3. So maybe he will be a meat lover at 5?

Great post, and can't wait to hear the other answers!

Amber M. said...

I am totally feeling your pain. Sam is an extremely picky eater.

Have you tried hard salami or pepperoni? Kinda fatty, I know, but Sam liked both. Like Kristen, we used to cut the pieces of salami into shapes with cookie cutters...dinosaur, maybe??:-)

Can't wait to hear everyone else's ideas...GOOD LUCK!

LaskiGal said...

Wow! What good suggestions . . . what about the Sneaky Chef--the book about how a mom sneaks healthful food into his kids' meals (I think Jerry Seinfeld's wife wrote another version of the same thing).

How about yogurt, seeds (you can add flaxseed to what he normally eats and it barely alters the taste! We add it to what we eat now!), dairy, soy, beans (you can mash beans and make them into so many other dishes--we make bean burgers--seriously, they are yummy! ), turkey/turkey bacon, whole grains.

Check out are all about low fat/cal/sodium foods--and alternatives to meat and other not-so-nutritious foods--there may be some great ideas there.

Have him help you make it--make it fun and he may turn onto foods he wasn't all that fond of before. I have one of those making meals with kids books--all about how to make foods (like boring old meatloaf or stew) fun for kids--thus, they will want to eat it).

Sorry--long post. I'm just all about food. And I mean ALL about it!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Oh my goodness, you have just described my #1 son's diet, all the way down to the broccoli. I made him eat broccoli almost everyday to make up for the rest of his diet. The good news is that they do grow up. No, my son hasn't grown out of it but now he is old enough that I can say, "You have to eat 3 black beans and you have to eat them NOW."

I would give you all sorts of cute tricks but none of them worked with my son. However, we've recently realized that he is on the autism spectrum and it turns out that his natural food preferences match the ideal diet for someone with his needs. It made me glad that I accepted his preferences.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Oh, and your daughter sounds just like my #1 daughter. I actually had to ground her from my garden when she was little because she would eat all my tomatoes and I wouldn't have any for my salad. =)

Kellan said...

All my kids are good eaters - like your daughter - such a pleasure. I find it so interesting that he doesn't have the same habits as her! I have no real advise - other than ranch dressing and catsup - if my kids could dip it in either of these, they would eat it (when they were young) and it encouraged them to eat many things!

Nice to see you today - take care - Kellan

Cheri said...

Yo Mama will tell you that Laura the Vegetarian is quite fond of plain, cold tofu, cut into squares, and dipped in soy sauce. Henry has been indoctrinated into this method of protein consumption. Although, if what they say is true about soy and phyto-estrogens (or whatever it is), Henry will be wearing a size B-cup by 7th grade.

Jasmine said...

Well, I am sorry that Chase is not a fan of yummy foods. I have lucked out with a kiddo that LOVES to eat and he will try anything! I would try out the Deceptively Delicious book by Mrs. Springer, I bought it as well, but for my husband, not Diego. : )
Tough one! Maybe search for more recipes with edamame since that is a protein and he already seems to like it. Have you tried other bean varities, maybe lentils?
Diego is a huge fan of cheese, but I'm sure you've already tried that one....
Sorry I know I'm not helping much.

katydidnot said...

mmmm, scrambled eggs are my favorite.

Lindsey said...

So don't ask me. MM is practically a fruit-a-ta-rian. Seriously. She doesn't eat meat. I'm still trying to force feed her....

Once you figure this out, please advise me:)

OHmommy said...

We are big EGG eaters.

:) Have you tried cooking with him? My firecracker LOLA will eat almost anything she prepares.

dkuroiwa said...

My boys are such good's hard to come up with something different for them to eat!!!
I was going to add that, sometimes the soft tofu is kind of "yucky" (as my youngest will tell you) but here, you can get a pretty hard type that is wonderful with a light soy sauce on it.
The boys like scrambled eggs with literally anything in it....cheese, rice (leftover thrown in is good), any type of salad bean and veggies are good too.
Have you tried string cheese? That's just fun to eat!!!
Peanut butter and banana rolled up on a tortilla...that's one of my favs!!!

I wouldn't may take a while, but, his tastes may change...they eat what their body needs sometimes.
I would agree with the idea of letting him make his own food...lot's of good cookbooks out there for kids...I use the one that DK Books has!!
Good luck!!

CC said...

Grated carrots and spinach works great in EVERYTHING!!!

Trish said...

He eats edamame doesn't he? Will he eat sushi? Do those chicken dinos come in deep fried microgreens?

I make henry take a load of vitamins everyday. One of them is especially for picky eaters.

You (we) need that book (I am ordering 2 copies one for Chase and the other for Henry) that was written by Jessica Seinfeld. In it she talks about sneaking food that is good for kids into food that tastes good. You know, she is sneaky. For instance, she puts vegetables in brownies. I used to do that too. Pot is a vegetable, right? I won't even talk about mushrooms on pizza.

Hey, whatever it takes.

Oh and if your otherwise wonderful husband didn't try to force feed him every 20 minutes he might get hungry enough to eat the healthy stuff you serve.

And by the way... Go Tatum!

Do I sound like Mommy Dearest? Really? Tell the Truth!

Jennifer H said...

My son is just about that picky, too. I'll be sifting through your comments for ideas, too!

Cheri said...


If Yo Mama shows up at your door holding a wire hanger, toss the Seinfeld book at her. That book is crap. Kids need to learn to eat vegetables that look like vegetables.

I love Yo Mama, truly, madly, deeply, but I will not puree vegetables, bake them in Brownies, and teach my child that she's too special to eat the pre-washed and chopped broccoli sold in clear plastic bags at Trader Joe's.

Huckdoll said...

Ugh. I am no help here. My girls practically live off of Cheerios and fruit.

I'll be subscribing to your comments :)

david mcmahon said...

Thanks for the great comment. I'm over the moon because you like my daily rhymes!!

Chrissy said...

Wish I could help. We're of the "smother it with something" mindset cheese, ketchup, ranch dressing, sour cream. But it looks like you've had some good suggestions here. Good luck!

Amy said...

I am not much of a help here. Both my kids are good eaters, perhaps they take after me (hard to turn food aways!!!)

I would suggest sneaking good stuff in. I do that a lot. For example, I blend a lot of veggies in the blender and add them to my spaghetti sauce.

Best of luck!

Kathryn said...

I'm with Lori. My kids LOVE scrambled eggs with cheese. They want it all the time. They are obsessed! Give that a try. :)

Denise Thomas said...

Dear Jamie,
We had a good thing going, you and me. Those were good times. We have so much in common: twins, balding husbands, similar tastes in music and books. I thought we could make it. Then I read that your twins are good eaters (yes, even carb-loving Chase has both mine beat by a mile, my friend). The real kicker though, the thing that comes between us, is the choices your husband makes for your clothes. They are way too cute for us to be friends. You are just too adorable and so we have to break up. Sorry. It's not you, it's me.

Lisa said...

For eggs go with FRITTATAS!!! Mix some veggies and cheese in the eggs and make frittatas. The personal fave here is sundried tomato, goat cheese and baby spinach.
For mac'n'cheese, try mixing in broccolli or asparagus or swiss chard or kale.
It might be the breading he likes from the nuggets; try a flax seed type breading for your own nuggets or use some veggies.
My 'other' blog (on my profile) has some stuff too he might like.

Wendi said...

Oh no Jamie!
I have to say my kids are picky... but nothing like that.
One of their favorite dishes is Quiche. Sometimes I am making a pie and Cole will come in and think it is quiche. "You making me some quiche Mommy?" When I say no, he gets upset.
Quiche is mostly eggs, so I usually add finely chopped ham and bacon and lots of cheese. I always chop mushrooms in it too. They never know. They also love chicken and spinach with feta. I will look in my recipes and see if I can come up with a few suggestions. I will email them to you as not to take up your entire comment section. Oh, and good luck!

Lori said...

check out my blog I tagged you for a meme..

and I had another thought for you... what about having the kids help make dinner? If they are helping cook they maybe willing to try other things.. Just a thought

One La Costa Mom said...

Jamba Juice has a new breakfast meal you can copy. It's probably close to your protein shake but it has peanut butter, bananas and granola blended together along with soy and other fruits. It's not a smoothie, you have to eat it with a spoon. I had a 16 oz and barely finished it because it was so thick, It made me full and kept me feeling full for a long time. Good luck! I feel your pain trying to get my son to eat meat.

KKJ said...

Hi Jamie,

My boys have the same issue but not to worry: Eggs are a complete protein (all the essential amino acids that your body need) so you are all good with your protein requirement. No stress- you are doing great. We are also eating the gummy vitamins when I remember to give them to them.

Lisa said...

My kiddos love meat & fruits, but are also carb addicts. If you could let us all know how you get Tatum to eat all of the wonderfulness that she does, it would be much appreciated :)

MamaGeek said...

Have you checked out the Sneaky Chef or Deceptively Delicious cookbooks? You should - they have all sorts of healthy ideas to SNEAK it in!

Karen said...

I'm sorry that I have nothing to offer. My son eats hot dogs for breakfast, finished off by nachos dipped in Ranch dressing.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I need all these ideas as well. Everyone in my family eats healthily except my 15 year old, Danger Boy. He is now battling his umpteenth cold of the year? Coincidence? I think not.

baby~amore' said...

I have one who eats very little of anything ... no eggs either .
I am going to copy all these answers.
My other twin eats better but still no salad .. yet
Goodluck Jamie !

Wendi said...

oops...I can't find an email for you on your blog.
Email me if you want those recipes.

*becausewendisaidso (at) gmail (dot) com

* chadnwendi (at) gmail (dot) com

I check both!

mom2tot said...

I'm just lucky my son loves black refried beans, so I add those to anything,(good protein source), so you might want to try it, I don't use when I fried them just actually smashed them a little then heat.
Examples: 1. Quesadilla with beans
2. Scramble eggs with beans and cheese.
3. Regular hamburger meat mixed up with beans.

Good luck on your search for protein!

Amy said...

He really isn't doing all that bad! My girls are doomed. We get a lot of protein but not so much on the veggies. I HATE veggies!