Kids on holidays at Fraser Island with the turtles
We are in the midst of school holidays I have a 13 year old child who is gluten free due to an intolerance, who is a particularly fussy eater. So, I thought this was the perfect time to strip his food choices back to healing foods.
This is a lot easier said than done, realising that the whole journey starts with me. I had to stop giving in to all the demands for gluten free breads and gluten free weetbix that are loaded with additives and preservatives. Then I had to think of other things that I knew he would eat and make them healthier.
For some children introducing new foods is a work in progress, but what I have found works extremely well is introducing new foods when they have friends over. Firstly they discover that if their friends eat it then it’s really not that bad and they try it. Even if it is only a teaspoonful, that is progress, because the more times you put it in front of them, the more they will eat.
I have been introducing pumpkin soup for what seems like years. Looking at his food preferences, he has quite a mature taste in foods, having a leaning towards herbs such as rosemary, oregano, thyme etc… I decided to give this pumpkin soup a make over. Inspired by Danielle Walker from Against all Grain I did a version of her roasted vegetable and chicken soup. This has a great combo of pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, onion and garlic in a broth base. Soup couldn't be more nourishing with all of these yellow and orange carotene rich vegetables roasted in coconut oil, as carotenes need fats so they can be absorbed by our body. So I was ecstatic when he asked for seconds, and then a second helping after dinner. I just needed to stop myself from making it over and over again day after day until he got sick of it, instead just once a week to make it a special treat.
The other success that I had was homemade jellies and marshmallows. Well, how wonderful it was to come home to kids choosing jellies and marshmallows from the fridge as a quick snack. Little did they know that they were a probiotic hit made from kombucha and probiotic powder with the added goodness of gelatin. I have been really getting into using grass fed gelatin lately with all of its anti inflammatory, gut healing, joint healing qualities.
Some other food hacks that I have been using:
It has been a successful two weeks so far. I have enjoyed creating meals and snacks that will see the end of gluten free weetbix and gluten free breads forever. We haven't come up with any substitutes, but we don’t need to. It's about experiencing a wider variety of foods, with differing textures, smells and tastes.
Prepackaged, convenience foods can sabotage all of your efforts in seconds. Try not to fall into the trap again, because if you have a fussy eater it is about making every food choice as nutrient rich as possible to help them grow, develop and eventually eat everything that nature intended.
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist