Often in feeding therapy, we encounter our friends who will eat only very specific kinds of foods. When you feel stuck with what you can offer, there are many ways to sneak in a little bit of extra nutrition without turning your child’s food world upside down. Your feeding therapist is a good resource for getting some new ideas to sneak in healthy foods. I also like to look on Pinterest because there are tons of other ideas online. These are ways that I like to use at home to get my family -and myself- to eat extra fruits, vegetables, and other important nutrition:
Smoothies – This is my favorite way to eat a “salad” for breakfast. I like to pack in spinach, Greek yogurt and/or nut butter (for protein), some frozen fruit, and a little bit of juice or milk. I love using spinach because it really does not alter the flavor of the smoothie. Find what else works for you to tailor it to your child’s liking (maybe you can even mix in bit of ice cream if they really love milkshakes!) The ratio from this site: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/12/26/green-smoothie-recipe/ has worked well for my breakfast smoothies.
Pancakes – I bet you weren’t expecting healthy pancakes! I love this recipe: http://www.eatthis.com/blueberry-pancakes because it packs in extra protein with Greek yogurt and ricotta cheese. You can also use regular flour if you don’t want to go the whole-wheat flour route.
Lasagna or enchiladas – It is super easy to mix in some vegetables and your child may not even notice. I like using chopped up spinach since it doesn’t add too much flavor. Another idea I’ve seen includes cutting some meat out of lasagna and adding in finely chopped mushrooms.
Mashed potatoes and cauliflower – Did you know that you can make mashed cauliflower that tastes almost just like mashed potatoes? If you don’t want to completely substitute, try doing a 50/50 blend of potatoes to cauliflower (many recipes available online!)
As one of our other awesome feeding therapists, Ms. Jennifer, blogged about last year, dipping foods (https://www.team4kids.com/backup/dipping-into-feeding-therapy/) is a fantastic way to introduce and expose children to other foods they may not otherwise try. Maybe they like yogurt? Try dipping some foods they like such as graham crackers and see if they will try some new fruits such as apple slices. Or spread some Nutella on a banana. You never know what delicious combinations your child may come up with! In feeding therapy, we frequently use dipping less-preferred foods into highly preferred foods to increase exposure.
Macaroni and cheese – I also love mixing some vegetables like peas and carrots into macaroni. Just when the noodles are about to finish boiling, I dump in a few of the vegetables to cook them a bit, then I load it up with cheese sauce!
(Photo courtesy of: http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/family/how-curb-childs-fussy-eating-7389046)