Feeling a bit frustrated – Ava food stuff

I’m very pleased that we’ve been eating vegetarian meals around here for the past week without a problem. I’ve found several new recipes to try and have been enjoying eating new, delicious foods. (Will post some recipes I’ve tried recently soon.)

The problem is, Ava is not as excited about all of mommy’s new recipes as mommy is. ;)

I don’t think being vegetarian is bothering her – the only meat she was fond of in the past anyway was fish. The problem is, I think, the dishes I am making are too “exotic,” for lack of a better word, for her.

Here I am all excited that I’m making these tasty and very nutritious meals, but she doesn’t want anything to do with them. (Although she does like hummus and that’s something.) So I’m banging my head on the wall.

I don’t want to become a short-order cook. I’d like her to eat what the rest of the family eats. However, I do realize some foods might just be too spicy for her (even though I don’t get too crazy with the spices because I’m a wimp myself when it comes to spicy foods).

So I guess I’m now on the lookout for vegetarian recipes that are more kid-friendly so that she can enjoy our meals too.

Part of this might be due to the fact that many toddlers get picky about their eating habits regardless of if they are carnivorous or not. It’s hard to say. Even before this began, she would have her days of not wanting to eat much of anything.

I have made some Morningstar Farms® Chik’n Nuggets for her and she liked those, but with drinking some soy milk (also rice milk) and having tofu and tempeh in meals, I start to worry about how much soy is too much. I’ve also made her organic mac and cheese with pumpkin mixed in. She does ok with that. Her favorite food – that she would eat any time of the day or night if granted permission – is cheese (string cheese, slices of cheese, whatever) but mama is trying to cut back a bit on that.

I got the book “Raising Vegetarian Children : A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony” in the mail today and need to give it a look. I think there are supposed to be recipes in there and I’m sure there will be other information to calm me a bit.

I’m probably worrying unneccessarily. I’ve been known to do this in the past when she didn’t want to eat. It seems as soon as I vent about it somewhere, she gets back to normal, so here’s hoping that’s the case now as well. ;)

Thanks for listening. And if you have any links to kid-friendly veggie recipes, I’d love them. :)

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9 thoughts on “Feeling a bit frustrated – Ava food stuff

  1. Because of all of the soy “meats” my girls get to enjoy, I have switched them to rice or almond milk. I don’t want to overdo it or have them develop an allergy, so I look for alternatives to soy when I can. You can make the same meals for her–but pull her components of the meals out separately–only trying a few spices at a time on her plate, but doing the full-on seasoning for everyone else.

    I found some meat-eating children enjoying this:
    chick peas
    black beans
    corn
    (all canned)
    guacamole–mixed in for a “salad”.

    Also, the kids love all Mexican and Italian foods.

    They are very fond of organic soups from Imagine and Pacific Foods.

    They love rice–a lot.

    Veggie nuggets, veggie burgers. Hummus, wraps. Etc.

  2. Hmm. Think, think, think. If she likes hummus, she’ll probably like red lentils. Have you tried that? It’s not “spicy” at all – just boil 2 cups red lentils, 1 cup brown rice in 6 cups water unil it’s all very smooth and mushy. Add 1 tsp cumin and 2 tsp salt at the very end. It’s really simple, very filling, and very yummy if you can just get her to try it. Kind of similar to hummus. The toddler I cared for in england would devour bowls of this.

    If she likes to dip things (like with hummus) you can just add things to it. Such as mixing mashed carrots into the hummus, or roasted peppers, or even blend up some spinach with it. That’s an easy way to sneak in the veggies, it’ll still taste good – as long as she’s not particular about the color of her hummus. :)

    I wouldn’t worry about her eating habits anyway. Children know when they need to eat. I’ve seen many many picky toddlers- and none of them ever starved. She’s obviously getting much more nutrition than the average kid. I’ve seen even more concerned parents, but the worrying isn’t worthwhile. I know, parent=worrying, by nature – and that’s a good thing. But she’ll be fine!

    Oh yeah, I don’t blame you on not wanting to do too much soy. We’re not too fond of soy in this household. I think America has taken one good thing from the asian countries (tofu) and found a way to process it into everything. Nuts! There’s a limit to everything.

  3. r2ks and miriam – thank you both for all of your suggestions and thoughts on the matter. i really appreciate it.
    i went out for a few hours tonight and ava ate fine while i was gone and has been eating ever since i got home.
    i got a chance to look over that book a bit and there are a TON of recipes, plus lots of good info. i’m very encouraged. :)
    and of course, i know she will be fine and isn’t exactly wasting away ;) but worrying comes w/ the territory and there’s no easy turning it off. i’m going to try to offer a good assortment of foods and do my best to let her be the judge of what she eats.

  4. This is so interesting to me, as it will be part of my future in a few months with Aidan. And just before I logged on to your blog, I was reading a thread in the Mothering discussion forum about picky eaters and how not to waste food. You may find it interesting too, so I’ll include the link:
    http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=397375
    And the food suggestions above sound so yummy I want to make some for me to eat! :) :)

  5. I was going to suggest lentils too, Elliana eats tons of them, she calls em “soup” and when she wants “soup” she wants lentils ;)
    Ellie is a grazer though, she really doesn’t wanna sit down and eat with us, she would rather I set out a plate with goodies on it and she can cruise by and eat at her leisure.
    Doesn’t make great table manners, but she’s a toddler! :D

    My other two are my really picky eaters.My oldest loves fish, she will eat anything with fish, love love loves it,until you say “salmon” for some reason if she thinks its salmon, she will refuse to touch it. crazy.

  6. Not really related to Ava eating (I’d have to get my OWN kid to eat in order to advise others…) but I lurk in your blog very occasionally and wanted to say keep sharing veggie recipes! We’re heading more that direction just to be healthier and I am always at a loss as to what I should cook!

  7. Amy – Thanks for the link to that discussion. I’ll chk it out. :)

    Dawn – Thx for the ideas. I just made some lentils that we’ll try at dinner. Anyone know the difference between red lentils and brown ones? Is there a nutritional difference? All we had were the brown ones so that’s what I used (with some barley and a little bit of carrots and red pepper).

    Nicole – Hey there. :) Glad you are enjoying the recipes. There will be more to come, I am sure. :) If you have anything vegetarian that your family enjoys, please feel free to email it to me. :)

  8. Both my girls love tofu (pre-baked in the package is nice). For Kajsa we cuut it up into french fry shape & serve it with peanut sauce. Fun for dipping and only mildly spicy.
    Since you are worried about soy, you could steam some veggies.

  9. Allergies can and often do progress. You might not have severed reactions at first. But often it progresses to a deadly reaction. WBR LeoP

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