I hear it absolutely all the time- my kid just won't eat that. He is picky. She doesn't like vegetables. They only like grapes but nothing else. Trust me, I totally get it.
But let me be real with you first.
I totally did not get you say six years ago. Six years ago, I was the mom bragging my face off about how my kids eat what I say they are going to eat and how they better thank the Lord that they get to eat. "I am not a sous chef" I would tell all my mom friends and neither should they have to be. I had two kids at the time and I was pretty darn proud of how well they would eat their fruits, vegetables, and pretty much any dish I sat before them. I had accomplished life.
I am pretty positive God had decided enough was enough with all of my bragging about how amazing I was as a mother who provides the most nutritious foods to my kids all the time. How I always had a sense of proud of just how great I must be as a parent because my kids were never picky. Because my kids did as they were told. Because my kids were the best of the best.
......I am annoying myself just typing all of this.....
Then. Came. Gabriella. Gabriella (who is quite literally my middle child with two older siblings and two younger siblings now) came to this world and opened my pretty little eyes. Gabby came into my kitchen to eat for the first time as a sweet toddler in her pimped out high chair, smile on her face, and taught me some valuable lessons I will never ever forget.
-Gabby does not like her food to touch on the plate
-Gabby does not like anything that is a "weird" color
-Gabby does not like white cheese if it's melted
-Gabby does not like sandwiches unless it has no crust, no mayo, no mustard, no lettuce, and the bread cannot be brown or any golden color
-Gabby does not like things with burned edges
-Gabby does not like fish unless it comes in the form of a nasty fish stick from a fast food place
-Gabby does not like mushrooms, onions, or the smell of garlic
-Gabby does not like soft grapes or too cold pineapple
-Gabby does not like meats that don't look like chicken
-Gabby does not like mushy broccoli or raw broccoli
-Gabby does not like any type of dressing with bits of "stuff" in it
-Gabby does not like spinach or kale
-Gabby does like pepperoni pizza however she takes the pepperoni off and gives it to someone else
There are about 50 more examples I could share if she were standing next to me listing them. Gabby was the picky eater I was given. Gabriella came down from Heaven to show me two very important things: I have never been nor will I ever be a perfect mother and parents have to get creative in the kitchen.
But does getting creative actually work?
The short answer: yes, being creative and organized can lead to some huge changes in what you are able to feed your family. The long answer: It is going to take you actually being creative and actually being organized to see some huge changes in what you are able to feed your family.
So here are a few tips to make a simple change:
1. Get organized. I am a bit obsessive about meal planning. I have tried "winging" it and it was total chaos. Granted, there are 7 people in my family (5 of them being incredibly chaotic children) so meal planning might not be as necessary as it is in my house but I will say that I have never seen a home (with 3 people to 10 people) where preplanning in the kitchen hasn't helped. We have a FREE template over in our store for meal prep to get you started!
2. For Gabriella, having such picky tendency helped jumpstart her ADHD symptoms (as a counselor, I highly encourage you to always discuss situations like this with your child's doctor to see if a referral to a psychologist is needed. DO NOT INTERNET DIAGNOSIS). I knew that her gut had a lot to do with it. So with the help of a good friend, we started flooding her body with over 30 fruits nd vegetables in a super easy gummy. Here is a link for these life-saving Gabby gummies.
3. We started hiding as much as we could in her foods!!! It sounds awful, but let's be honest- fast food restaurants are doing this to your family regardless... why not you do it but with nutritious things that will actually help? I started hiding spinach, carrots, flax seeds, chai seeds, and oats in almost everything to get started. Smoothies, spaghetti sauce, mac and cheese, burgers, and especially muffins.
A few days ago, I came across a recipe from King's Flour for Morning Glory Muffins. I had seen Ree Drummond make something similar on TV a few years ago, so I had a pretty good idea of what it was. I made some adjustments to make it a bit more "fall" like (mostly because that was what I had on hand and I was not in the mood to make a grocery run). These muffins were so delicious, I quite literally did not get a chance to take any pictures. I am shocked I was able to taste one.
So yes, I completely and utterly understand the real struggle of a picky child. But we will get these little suckers to live healthy lives spiritually, emotionally, and especially physically!
Peace, love, and strength