Picky Eating Adventures
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Click on any of the treats below to view the full recipe. A current student log-in is required.

Sugar Cookies
Sweet and simple cookies that are fun to decorate and perfect for sharing!

Sneaky Pizza Balls

Far from simply a pizza-decorating activity, this is a fun stir and mix recipe with fresh veggies and whole wheat flour. And, they taste delicious!

Banana Sweeties

These baked yummies manage to sneak in a fruit, a veggie AND whole wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Ravioli

A super fun recipe where the kids can work with dough and use a pastry roller!

Pumpkin Yogurt Dip
This simple and delicious recipe is perfect for fall and manages to sneak some beta carotine.

Banana Muffins
A tasty and nutritious treat packed with heart-healthy potassium. Sshhh--they're made with whole wheat!


These healthy little middle eastern goodies are made from garbanzo beans, wheat flour, wheat germ and a variety of spices. They are another "mix with your hands" recipe so the kids can have some fun exploring more food textures.

Roasted Red Pepper Biscuits

With festive bits of red just like the fall leaves, these biscuits are especially fun because you mix the dough with your hands!

Autumn Spice Mini Muffins

Take home the taste of fall as we prepare this delicious (and healthy) muffin recipe, which includes (sneaky veggie surprise) pureed sweet potato and pumpkin!

Chocolate Cupcakes 

Not your supermarket cupcake! You'd never detect these delectable goodies have whole wheat flour.

Guess what? I've got a secret.
Miles is a picky eater. Yes, my son. Me--the one teaching the cooking classes. The one who talks about how much fun Miles and I have when we cook together. It's true that he loves to cook, but when it comes to eating, we have a lot of battles. It stinks, and some days I feel like a sham.

Here's the story:
Miles was an awesome eater as a baby. People would come over to the house just to watch him eat! Then, at about 12 months he hit that (totally normal stage) of eating less, and being more selective. As a first-time mom, I panicked, and offered him the foods I knew were his favorites. Guess what? He learned that he could hold out and I would give him what he wanted. We are still working on this.

Even if my picky kid eats nothing we make, I believe he will still benefit. By seeing, touching and smelling the foods, the kids are becoming familiar with them. Experts say some children need to come into contact with a  new food 20 (!) times before they will try it. Believe me, I
am banking on this theory!

7/5/12 It's all in the Delivery...
I'm discovering that Miles has just decided that he doesn't like certain foods. He won't even try them--if he's made it up in his head that a certain food is a no-no, there is no amount of coercing that can convince him otherwise. This is not too dissimilar from Brett (my husband).

Brett is convinced that he does not like Zucchini. For the vast majority of our dating and then married life, I have been trying to get him to try Zucchini Bread. Because--come on--it doesn't even taste like zucchini!! If it were called Yummy Delicious Bread, he'd eat it and have no idea. I'm sure he'd love it. Finally, one day at the Falls Church Farmer's Market I nabbed a sample of zucchini bread while Brett was not looking. I approached him and asked if he wanted some cake. Sure enough, he ate it and loved it. I'm still wondering if I should fess up about this.

Using this psychology, I have now gotten Miles to eat cheese (he "hates" cheese) on pizza by calling it "plain pizza" and had great success with yogurt by calling it "sugar yogurt". Why do I feel like I spend all day tricking my son into eating stuff??

3/24/12 Carrots and Beets!!!

After a rough beginning of the week in the eating department, we've had a few good days. We made apple carrot oatmeal muffins (which I called cupcakes) in cooking class; all of the kids loved them INCLUDING Miles. This was a miracle, because the carrots were totally visible and I am completely amazed that he ate a muffin that had a carrot sticking straight out of it.

These days, Miles won't eat any vegetables at all (unless they are totally disguised) so this was a huge win for us. On the other end of the spectrum, his sister Maggie ate most of my blackened salmon sandwich earlier this week.

Since we are winning with the vegetables, I decided to try an experiment and make "chocolate cupcakes". I made my standard banana muffin recipe (replacing white with whole wheat flour) but instead of using mashed bananas, I put in pureed beets. I also sprinkled in a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder. The result was a very moist, chocolatey and sweet muffin/cupcake that Miles was happy to eat.

1/31/12 Chocolate Brownies

A friend of mine recently turned me on to Black Bean Brownies. Miles is a legume-phobe (see the 11/30 adventure), so I was especially intrigued and curious as to whether he'd like these. While the recipe calls for one can of black beans added to the brownie recipe, I (being someone who cannot follow a recipe without altering it in some way) added two.

Miles LOVED the brownies. I mean loved them.

The problem is, the next day we still had quite a few brownies left. I made a whole batch, and of course it made more than a normal batch because of the two cans of beans. While I was in Maggie's room nursing her to sleep for her nap, Miles was especially quiet. I soon discovered why.

He had (very neatly) taken the entire tupperware container of brownies and put them into a bowl. He was thoroughly enjoying his BOWL of brownies. This is something that I can only laugh about...what else is there to do??

1/2/12 Pizza is our Friend
Miles has recently begun to eat pizza. For us, this is really exciting because it's one of only a few "combination foods" that he will eat. I've read that it's pretty normal for toddlers to like foods in their simplest form. For example, Miles will eat plain yogurt and he will eat strawberries, but if I were to serve him strawberries mixed with yogurt, he would be less likely to touch it. Therefore, pizza is really exciting. It's bread! And sauce! and cheese! all mixed together!!

The most exciting thing about pizza is that the other day, Miles ate a green pepper on the pizza. He even acknowledged it beforehand. He spotted it, touched it warily, and then (as I held my breath) sort of shrugged his shoulders and ate it.

12/15/11 Peer Pressure is Awesome!
We recently had Miles's parent-teacher conference at preschool. After reviewing his "report card" his teachers opened things up for discussion. They were surprised to learn that he's a picky eater, because he appears to have the "ready to try anything" personality. This is true, but he also has an "easily manipulates his mother" personality as well. As stated above, this means that starting at age 1, he duped me into catering to his discriminating little palate.

We (the teachers and his parents) have decided to do a little experiment of sending him to school with a new food each week (along with his regular stuff). The New Food comes out first. Amazingly, we are 2 for 2 with him trying new stuff (one chicken nugget last week, and a bowl of pasta AND sauce this week). This is totally good news.

I think that the group dynamic of school (peer pressure) is enabling him to try new things. Happily I am also noticing this in cooking class, too. He ate FIVE Autumn Spice mini-muffins in one sitting the other day. These muffins contain pumpkin and sweet potato, which are two things on his "no way Jose" list.

Hurray for Peer Pressure.

11/30/11 Why my son wanted Falafel

One morning, the Monday class made Falafel. Miles was excited about this the whole time we were cooking, which frankly surprised me. He typically won't make friends with anything related to legumes, and here he was happily squashing up the chickpeas with his hands. He happily formed his little chickpea patties, saying "I'm making my falafel" in a happy little voice.  He was glued to the oven for the full 20 minutes that they baked.

When they came out, I very nearly had to restrain him so he didn't burn himself. "Mama I need my Falafel now!" "Mama can we eat Falafel??"

Finally, the Falafel had cooled and I put one out on his plate. The other kids happily gobbled theirs down, while my son stood there looking stricken.

"Mama," he said, "I think I need a different waffle". Poor kid.

Contact me!
email: andrea@creativekidskitchen.com
phone: 703-664-0922
location: North Arlington Virginia near the intersection of Lorcom Lane and Nellie Custis; convenient to most of Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland

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