Monday, March 28, 2011

Your questions answered!

Thank you for the question  Facebook fan Julie!

"How do you handle pickiness? My 4 y.o. is refusing all beans for the past few months, which I usually eat daily!"

Hey Julie, 

Well, my kids never, ever refuse any food I offer them. They are totally aware of all the kids in the world who are starving, and of the enormous nutritional benefit of a high density diet. They regularly ask for more healthy snacks in their lunches and always drink their smoothies. Yeah - right. I WISH!! 

I am not sure there is any parent out there who isn't exposed to finickiness over some foods. I always laugh at my own kids - Dylan likes jelly, his sister peanut butter. Kayla likes mustard, Dylan only ketchup. He likes tofu squares, she likes it scrambled. It can be challenging! We have a rule in our house that everything goes on your plate, and you can choose what to eat. I think there are rumors that you have to expose a kid 30 times to a new food until they'll eat it. I have no idea if this is true (certainly doesn't seem to be in our house), but I do notice that every year or so their tastes seems to change. Their favorite foods are no longer favorites, and things they wouldn't even try before are now expected to be in their lunches (like, duh mom! Of course I like pickles!) So, I don't worry too much when they're going through a food phase. 

That said, for a while my kids also eschewed beans, which totally freaked me out because they are such a huge part of a vegan diet. After trying to force them to eat them (and after countless renditions of "Beans, beans, they're good for your heart, the more you eat them, the more you fart!" at the dinner table), I gave up. I took a break, and after  a while, I decided to present them in a different way. Here are some ideas that worked for us - let me know if they work with your kiddo! 

1. Bean taquitos - just wrap refried beans (homemade when I have time, but usually canned) in a corn tortilla. They can be lightly fried or baked. Make sure the tortilla is warmed so it folds easily. 

2. Chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon. These are made with chickpeas, and oohhssoogood! 

3. Hummus, though it can be hit or miss with my kids. 

4. I LOVE homemade veggie burgers! I can use tons of beans in it and they have no ideas. This is my favorite site for inspiration: 
5. Veggie lunch "meat" with beans! 

So bottom line, I wouldn't freak about too much the pickiness, just keep offering up the frijoles and someday I am sure you'll be surprised  - one day!! 

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