Thursday, January 23, 2014

When the Picky Eater Panic hits home

I've written about the Picky Eater Panic in the past.  But I'm a vegetable eater and my three have all eaten pretty well.  Each has his or her own fav: one loves vegetables; one clearly loves fruit; and one appears to love carbs, but overall they've eaten what we have given them.

Then, in the last month or so, things changed.  It crept in slowly.  First is was more of the green stuff left on plates, not a lot, but enough to notice, as if someone was trying to sneak through enemy lines.  Then it became a little more.

And finally, it moved to the point where we were having to tell them to eat their vegetables or they wouldn't get anymore Mac & Cheese.  Picky eaters had arrived.  Would the Picky Eater Panic be far behind?

I admit, I was concerned.  But then I went a Googling, and learned what a serving size is for 2-year-old kids. Did you know that for a 2-year-old kid or toddler, a serving is about a quarter or half of an adult serving?

Did you know that, according to www.eatright.com, most 2- and 3-year-old kids need about a cup of raw or cooked vegetables and another cup of fruit per day.  A cup!  That is approximately the size of my hand, or a bit larger than a baseball. Its probably a single apple.

That is it.

I'm assuming most parents can get their kids to eat a cup of fruit.  Its always vegetables that seem to be the sticking point.  But as a parent, have you considered that the entire day's worth of vegetables need only be a single, one-cup serving?

Throw a banana, some frozen strawberries into a blender with some yogurt and a handful of spinach and you have yourself a smoothie that pretty much takes care of your kids entire fruit and veggie intake for the day.  Microwave a sweet potato and mash it up and you have two days worth of vegetables.  You might not even need it, but throw some brown sugar in every now and then for encouragement.

And experiment.  One of my kids loves edamame and peas.  Another eats brussel sprouts, believe it or not.  My third, well, I can't really think of a vegetable I'd say he loves, but I'm not sitting around worrying that he isn't getting a cup full through the entire day.

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