You’ve heard me sing my Picky Eater Blues before, but in case you forgot the lyrics, here’s the chorus:
My kids don’t want to eat anything except pizza, nuggets, pasta, and fruit (hey, it’s not all bad!).
In fact, nine times out of ten, Annelise will not eat one bite of dinner. I put it in front of her and we (usually) make her sit with us during our meal, but it’s always a fight. (And before you start throwing advice at me: Yes, I know I shouldn’t give her snacks too close to suppertime, and no, I don’t give in and let her eat something else later).
Eli isn’t much better, but since he used to have a more expansive palate (and because he’s older), we can usually get him to eat at least some of what’s on his plate, even if he claims he doesn’t like it. Even so, it’s usually a fight with him too. (Thankfully, God also gave us Samuel who might complain every once in a while, but then proceeds to clear his plate in five minutes flat.)
With all this in mind, when my friend and fellow blogger Kristen, from Mommy in Sports, came to me suggesting we team up for a project called #ONENEWFOOD, I immediately jumped on board.
The gist is this: We introduce one new food to our kids each week and insist that they try (chew and swallow) two bites. Then we blog about it. Easy peasy, right?
I’ve actually tried to do something like this before, but as I told you in my latest Keeping It Real Challenge update, I’m not great with follow-through. Teaming up with Kristen will be the motivation I need to keep going!
This isn’t just about getting our picky eaters to try new foods. A large part of our motivation is to teach our kids healthy eating habits. So much of what we consume is processed and full of sugar and all sorts of fake, unnatural ingredients. If we don’t teach our children to enjoy real foods now, they won’t make healthy choices when they’re on their own. And considering the fact that diet-related diseases are the biggest killer in America, it’s not something we should be messing around with. (Check out this video. It’s long, but worth a watch.)
This isn’t to say we’re going to give up sweets and only consume foods we grew in our backyard. I’m not talking about putting a big plate of kale in front of my kids and forcing them to eat it. Let’s get real, ice cream is my wine. But we do believe that small changes built up over time can make a big impact. For instance:
- Making homemade waffles instead of the ones you find in the freezer section (I actually already do this, so how about…)
- Subbing out half the white flour in those waffles for whole wheat
- Changing our afternoon snacks from crackers to fruit
- Switching to whole wheat pasta
- Trying a new veggie at dinner
This week the #ONENEWFOOD change was really super small. Tiny. You could even say infinitesimal. The kids had been given a treat after family pictures and Samuel couldn’t have the treat because of his food allergies. So we stopped at a small grocery store and my hubby came out with Annie’s Chocolate Chip Bunny Grahams. I know, I know, you’re probably laughing at me, but hear me out. All three kids were desperately grabbing at the box like they hadn’t eaten in a week. There was no need to tell them that they had to chew and swallow two bites because Hello, chocolate chip grahams!! Sure, they still have plenty of sugar, but they also are made with organic wheat and no artificial ingredients. It’s a step. And every step can lead to a bigger and better step.
Listen, this next part is important!
We don’t want it to stop with our two families. Will you join us? If you’re a blogger, great! Blog your experience (we have a link-up in the works, so stay tuned!). If you’re not a blogger, great! You can still let us know how it’s going on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Show us the pictures of your kids trying a new food (successes and failures; it’s all part of the process!), tell us your stories, share your helpful tips. Make sure you tag us and use the hashtag #ONENEWFOOD so we don’t miss what you have to share! Each week we’ll feature our favorite photo from those of you who’ve participated.
I’m really excited for this new project and I hope you’ll choose to join us! We have nothing to lose and healthy lives to gain! I’d call that a win-win.
Awesome – and I love the photo of the chocolate chip bunny! You are right…baby steps. Next week…maybe think outside the box? Literally?! So excited to be doing this challenge with you!
At the store yesterday, Annelise picked out a kiwi. She tried to take a bite of it and as soon as the brown fuzz touched her lip she threw it back in the pile. I rescued it, of course (makes me wonder what other fruit at the store has spit on it…) The boys have tried kiwi before and don’t care for it, but Annelise never has, so we’ll see if she feels differently when it’s green and fuzzless 🙂
Looking forward to joining in on this one! I think it is such a GREAT idea!
We’re so happy you’re planning to join us!!
I love this idea!! I will definitely join you and blog! My five-year-old daughter refuses to eat most things unless it has cheese in it. Small changes are the ones that make the most difference 🙂
That would be awesome JoAnn! We’re so glad you’re joining us! We’ll have a link-up ready to go next week (and please feel free to share your pictures and stories on any of our social media channels as well!) #OneNewFood is really the kick I need to get my kids eating healthier options.
Lauren, so wonderful you’re teaching this to your children when they are small! I am on a health challenge this summer and the stipulations are no refined sugar, white wheat or anything processed. It was really hard at first but after 5 weeks I’ve lost 9 pounds and 4 1/2″. And feeling great! A few new foods have snuck into my diet now — black beans, fresh spinach to name a few. My children are young adults now but this #onenewfood idea is something I will try to do.
Michelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer
Yes, it can definitely be for grownups too! I was a very picky eater (still am in some ways), so this will be a great challenge for me as well! I’m so glad you’re joining us.
Tammy @ creativekkids says
LOVE your challenge! You and Kristen will do great together! Keep the posts coming!
Thanks Tammy! We’d love to have you do it with us too! The more people involved will mean the more encouragement and support we can all provide each other.
Bronwyn Joy says
The “just try one bite” rule is good for new foods and we often use it. And sometimes that’s all they end up eating and I’m ok with that, which is why it works next time – they know that it really is only one bite we’ll insist on, so they’re willing to get it over with. Occasionally they’ll eat more.
On the other hand, I don’t consider my kids fussy. They seem to be growing ok, they get presented with healthy food at every meal/snack (with occasional treats a few times a week) and I know myself sometimes I’m just not hungry by the end of the day, so it’s never bothered me if they don’t eat a particular meal (mostly it’s dinner they skip).
I’m excited to get to the point where my kids are readily willing to try just one bite. Samuel is already there, but the other two are VERY resistant! Even if they don’t like 99% of the new things they try, I’ll be happy with that small amount of progress! It’s just like What About Bob? Baby steps!! 😉
I’m interested to know what food allergies your little one has! Mine has a dairy sensitivity, as well as allergies to eggs and peanuts (good-bye PB&J or anything with mayo) 🙁 I’m struggling finding quick and easy meals for him. We don’t do processed foods, so I homemake meals. Problem is it (obviously) takes longer since I am finding I have to make him separate meals or change our eating habits as well. *sigh* it doesn’t help that he’s a picky toddler either!
My 4 year old has dairy and nut allergies. He used to be wheat and egg intolerant too, so I know how frustrating it can be to find foods they can eat! His favorite meal is pasta with sauce (meat or marinara). I make homemade pizza and just leave the cheese off of his (the dough I make would be okay for your little guy, so if you’d like the recipe, let me know!) If I make chicken that has something on it he can’t eat, I usually make a separate breast for him that’s plain or has spaghetti sauce on it. I’m blessed that of all the kids, he’s the one who will eat most anything. It definitely makes it easier. If you need snack ideas, let me know! (Also, try Ener-g Egg Replacer for baking, if you haven’t already!)
Tania // Run to Radiance says
These are great tips!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
We used to do this in my child care centre all the time. It’s amazing how being exposed to various foods can really expand a child’s palette! My girls have pretty well developed taste buds and enjoy a lot of foods and a wide variety of vegetables because I used this approach with them.
How awesome that you’re encouraging families to try this! Kudos to you and Kristen!
Thanks so much for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).
Wishing you a lovely evening.
Thanks for the encouragement Jennifer! I know it won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.
Michelle Girasole says
We LOVE this challenge, ladies. At home and at work. Since I started working for Jamie Oliver At Home, and shifting my food to healthier options, it has really been a “Food Revolution” and, as mom, I have felt “The Resistance”. Having a community of parents to do this together would have been GREAT!
So far, in our house, this challenge has turned up mixed results – 1 win (homemade Dill Pickles, both loved); 1 lose (grilled mushrooms) and 1 “meh” (husk cherries – not even sure *I* love these. 🙂
Looking forward to the weeks ahead!
Michelle Girasole says
P.S. LOVE Annie’s! It feels good to support a company who makes food with great ingredients. Bonus that your kids don’t argue, because, (as we know) “Wow, real food tastes good!” (but we’ll let them think they are getting away with something…)
We’re so glad you’re joining us Michelle!! I know without the support of all the other mom’s who’ve decided to participate, I would have given up already!
On the Disney channel, between shows they do a cooking segment occasionally, they made sweet potato chips, and Mollie HAD to try them, we found the recipe on the Disney channel website. They were a hit! I have been trying to introduce new foods to the kids. But agh the resistance!! Elliot loves asparagus already, and both kids love steamed broccoli “trees” with cheese. Just today I was at the store with E and let him pick out veggies, he picked the norm for our house hold and added fresh mushrooms, he didn’t like them plain, so I have to figure out what to do with them. I’m thinking stroganoff, because they love the little pieces in cream of mushroom. I can’t wait to follow to get ideas!
That’s awesome Rachael! It sounds like you’re off to an amazing start. I think I’ve seen that Disney Channel show. It has some great ideas! If you take any pictures of your kiddos trying out their new foods, feel free to share them on mine or Kristen’s social media pages with the hashtag #ONENEWFOOD. You might find yourself featured in one of our blog posts 🙂