My youngest girl, who is in elementary school, is the joy and the challenge of my life. This, of course, is because she is so much like me. She has my determination (and stubbornness), my love of knowledge (and habit of sharing in an “oh, doesn’t everyone know that?” sort of way), and my need for structure (and tendency toward dictatorship). For better or worse, while she is physically her dad’s mini-me, her personality is generally mine.
This personality redux leads to some of the biggest frustrations in my paleo journey.
Frankly, the teenagers have been much easier to convert than the little one. I suspect it is because they still have some control over their food, since they can cook for themselves, whereas the grade schooler is pretty much stuck with whatever I choose to make.
After I have spent time working hard on dinner, only to be greeted by “ugh!” when I bring it to the table — “I don’t care for it” if she remembers her manners — it’s infuriating.
More than once I have had to sternly remind myself that it is not about me, I am not my food, and she is not being a pill just because she can. Furthermore, it’s not as if she will starve: we offer a bowl of plain yogurt as the alternative if she doesn’t want what is being served for dinner. Sometimes, we go through a lot of yogurt.
My girl also loves mac and cheese the way I loved cinnamon toast at her age. I can’t fault her for that – she has a kid’s palate, and it’s pretty much the perfect combination for a kid’s tastes. I continue trying new things, aiming to keep her diet more paleo/primal than not, and that is good enough for now. *
Still, there have been some dinner successes, and I cherish those. Our top ones are:
- A variation on this salmon cake recipe from Everyday Paleo
- My Spiced Summer Burgers
- An adaptation of Against All Grain’s Paleo Honey Biscuits (not whole30-OK, save for later)
- Cream Cheese Pancakes from I Breathe I’m Hungry (not whole30-ok; also, skip the sweetener — they are perfect without it)
- My Cinnamon Pepper Plantains
- Nom Nom Paleo’s Cracklin’ Chicken
- Barefoot Contessa’s Roasted Broccoli (via Amateur Gourmet — whole30’ers should sub nutritional yeast for the Parmesan)
I’m sure there are more, but at this moment, my little cave baby is trying to rip a chunk of my flesh away with every single one of his six teeth; a sign to stop if ever there were one.
I will revisit this list as more things come to me.
What about you? If you have any sure-fire recipes for picky kids, what are they?
*If you have a really sensitive, picky kid, check out this great guest post on PaleoParents; it’s all about feeding a child with sensory processing disorder and autism.