My child is super picky- he has some sensory things going on, and also he has Pyroluria (more about that later) which includes a side effect of “meat aversion“. So, getting him to the more keto/traditional side of eating isn’t easy. Of course, he LOVES carbs. I have been transitioning him slowly, with help of food chaining and using the foods he does like all together and slowly adding new ones in.
The absolute hardest change was lunch. He won’t eat bread or anything soft… and he’s gluten free. So he was eating pecan rice crackers with almond butter every day for lunch. What is wrong with that? Well, even organic rice is full of arsenic and both almonds and rice contain phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient. It keeps you from absorbing minerals and is very very bad for teeth. Also, he was sick of it, and barely eating any, so he was asking for snacks all afternoon… so I finally talked him into trying something new. It was not easy and took me a long time. Now that he is 6, I was able to convince him with some reasoning. Maybe your kid won’t melt down and go on hunger strike if you change his/her food but mine… well, I had to go about it differently. I used phrases like “Healthy people eat dinner for lunch” and “What you are eating is only enough for a two year old, and now that you are six, you need to eat a lot more protein so you can grow and get strong.”
With this honey mustard dressing as a dip, I got him to try chicken nuggets finally (healthy grain free ones). He began to get used to them. Since his sensory issue is that he really prefers crunchy things, I made him a diced chicken “salad” (no greens) with this honey mustard dressing with lots of crunchy things. I also made a shrimp version, which I explain below.
I made a baked chicken breast and chopped it very finely, and mixed it with vegetables and protein/fats he will eat, all chopped finely. So, finely diced chicken, diced carrots, petite peas cooked in butter, finely diced celery (inconspicuous new food, crunchy), finely diced roasted almonds (1 or 2), finely diced pickle, chopped bacon, chopped pork rinds. Anything new or possibly something he would reject I started with very very tiny amounts and added more if he did not complain. I mixed all but the bacon and pork rinds together with the honey mustard (recipe below) and then layered the bacon next to it, then the pork rinds- to keep them crispy. I tell him to mix it up before eating.
I send his own fork and spoon (sensory issues and cheap silverware has a terrible feel! I remember this as a kid, myself. He even mentioned it) and I don’t send anything else so .. basically he eats it or at least finishes it when he gets home. What ingredients worked for my child, might not work for yours. So, think about what your child eats and devise your own recipe. But I hope this helps you. Also, I don’t send very much… the minimum that I think he needs. He doesn’t have much time to eat, and I don’t want to throw away these expensive ingredients once he mixes it up and the pork rinds get soggy.
I also do a similar shrimp salad with shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic powder, chopped fine. He usually likes them breaded for dinner- we fry in coconut oil and coat with cream and cassava root flour. So I have to chop it fine for this salad or he doesn’t like the texture. Same ingredients mostly, chopped fine: celery, carrots, brazil nut or macadamia nut, unsulphured cherries, sometimes tomatoes, sometimes bacon, and the pork rinds on the side. I tried a million different dressings for this- a tomato/remoulade base, olive oil, etc but he was too picky, so I am back to this same honey mustard for this, and he is eating it. I wonder about trying a lemon-honey-yogurt dressing though.. still using more honey that I’d like but at least a different taste to mix up the school week of lunches.
We have a system of snacks and mealtimes which do not include a dessert for a meal eaten. I don’t want dessert to become a reward or to influence how much he eats. For instance: clean plate = dessert -> this is not an association I want him to have. I struggled with weight most of my life until a few years ago and I don’t want to pass that on.
If he doesn’t eat enough lunch for instance, then he will have to be hungry for three hours. At snack time (after school/3:15 on non-school days), he can have his dessert first if he wants, and a snack. Some days we let him have a natural version of an almond-butter cup, I admit. Some days that dessert is one of my healthy chocolate pops or homemade jell-o, where gelatin outweighs juice IMO. Some days it’s frozen blueberries. Snacks could be carby too- really my goal right now is to get his meals healthy, one at a time. I’ve got breakfast and dinner in great shape, so now working on lunch. Once that is done, I will work on lessening the carbs of the sweet treat. One snack I feed him is my gluten free nut bars.
Since my child is not big on “creamy”, I started low with the yogurt in this recipe and increased it as time went on. Also, more yogurt makes it more of a creamy salad dressing, less makes it more of a dip.
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard, I used 365 organic
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon or squeeze lemon juice
- 2+ Tablespoons of FAGE plain TOTAL yogurt or similar full fat yogurt
- wire whisk
- Mix mustard, honey and lemon juice and stir.
- Add yogurt to taste- a small amount for a dip, or a larger amount for a salad dressing. Whisk with a wire whisk until well blended.
- Keep in a glass mason jar in the fridge, lasts at least a week.