Persnickety Palate: Trick Your Toddler

These days getting Boo to eat anything that isn't hotdogs or mac'n'cheese is basically a miracle.  He's pretty resistant to eat anything vegetable related…so I trick him.  I hide veggies in everything.  Is it just us? I mean, I feel like I hear other people saying that their kid will eat anything… I want to slap them.  I have worried myself sick in the past thinking that my child will end up unhealthy, but the fact is feeding them a balanced diet is possible. Here are my top tricks for sneaking in nutrients into your toddlers otherwise crap diet:


  1. Replace lasagna noodles with zucchini ribbons, or make "pasta" with this handy little tool.  My kiddo will eat anything with a pasta sauce on it, so this is always a great options for replacing gluten and carb loaded foods with a veggie.
  2. Add frozen spinach to meatballs.
  3. Reduce ground beef, chicken or turkey portions and add ground mushroom.  This is a great boost of vitamins and minerals.
  4. Try adding a bit of pureed pumpkin or butternut squash to tomato sauces.
  5. Add steamed and pureed cauliflower to cheese sauces.  This can lighten your alfredo and mac'n'cheese considerably.
  6. Always add spinach or baby kale to your smoothies.
  7. This Airfryer is amazing.  We make a ton or sweet potato fries, zucchini fries, tater tots, etc. with little to no oil.
  8. If you have a juicer making carrot juice or beet juice to add to fruit juices and freezing into popsicles makes kiddos happy and cools them off.
  9. Add whipped avocado to puddings and brownie mix.
  10. When in doubt look for store bought items that add veg to the old standbys (just be ware of added preservatives, dyes and sugars!!)

Persnickety Palate: Kid Friendly Local Eats

There are so many great options in Orlando to take the kids out to eat!! I'm making this a quickie post because I am knee deep in Thanksgiving Day prepping, but here is a list of 5 great places to eat with your kids in Orlando that doesn't involve the mouse-house, food shaped like animals, video games, or mascots.

  1. Tijuana Flats This is pretty much my kiddos favorite place to eat.  The food is good, the atmosphere is fun and the people are really accommodating to the tiny humans.
  2. East End Market We love to grab a smoothie and a pastry, walk around and shop, then sit outside and enjoy the Florida weather.
  3. Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa If you haven't eaten here, go now! Run Fast! This place is so good.  Boo and I love to get the 2 meat platter and share.  The atmosphere has a cool urban vibe and the people are really chill.
  4. Another Broken Egg is awesome for brunch on the weekends.  The menu is fantastic for both kids and adults.  There is plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the morning.  It's a great alternative to the staple brunch places in Winter Park or Downtown where you are more than likely to wait an hour to be seated.
  5. Pom Pom Teahouse and Sandwicheria They have something for everyone's palate.  Even picky eaters.  The walls are adorned with pieces from local artist.  The vibe is happy and friendly.  The teas are amazing and sandwiches will blow your mind.


W and Boo

Persnickety Palate: Popsicles

Who doesn't love popsicles? I mean, really? Everyone does, but there are way too many out on the market that are full of crap.  I am a firm believer in feeding kids "kid food" but without the additives, preservative, artificial colors and flavors, etc.  Living in Florida, popsicles are a staple in our house.  As summer turns to fall, and fall turns to cold and flu season, I will be stocking up on our favorite popsicles to help battle sore throats and fevers.  They're not just for the poolside lounging during the dog-days of summer. I know a lot of you uber moms out there probably pick, squeeze, blend and freeze your own healthy concoctions for your kiddos favorite frozen treats, but I just don't have the time or really want to deal with the mess.  Here's a little list of our choice icy treasures.  IMG_8468

  1. Ruby Rocket's  Yumm! These are our go-to for heat relief and to soothe an ailing toddlers bout of the yucks.  We found these at Union Market in Brooklyn and at Winn Dixie (yeah, you read that right.) These will work for anyone with gluten or dairy allergies, are completely vegan, have added probiotics, and no artificial junk.  Keep these on hand all year long, your kiddos will thank you.
  2. Lifeway Frozen ProBugs Push Pops A great alternative to ice-cream! These little beauties are frozen kefir with all natural flavors, gluten free, lactose free and have 10 added live probiotic cultures.  THese are great when my son has an upset tummy and isn't really interested in eating.  I can usually find these at Whole Foods and Fresh Market.
  3. Diana's Bananas because dark chocolate covered frozen bananas are the jam! An added bonus is that I usually run across these at Aldi on the cheap, so I load up.

My picky little eater loves all of these and even kids in our neighborhood eat them all with no complaints.  It's a great way to sneak healthy ingredients into any diet and can help battle the blahs of being sick this winter.


-W and Boo


Persnickety Palate: The Smoothie Addition

Every Tuesday I will post a recipe, snack and meal ideas, or restaurant reviews all relating to my picky little eater.  When I hear other moms say, "oh my precious little so-and-so will eat anything I put on his/her plate" I want to scream and pull my damn hair out.  HOW?? How the heck do you do this? Boo can be particular, to say the least. And it sucks!  When the Boo was a baby I made homemade organic baby food.  I bought the most expensive and healthiest brands on the market.  He really ate anything.  Right around the time that I could foolishly join ranks of moms who can brag "oh my precious Boo, he will eat anything" he started eating...NOTHING! It didn't matter if it was his favorite food or something new, he threw it down or refused to eat it. Not for lack of trying on my part either.  I cooked and created and cried until I found a meal he would eat.  It felt like I was doing that all day, everyday (somedays I still do!) Thankfully, we have smoothies.

I started making smoothies for Boo around the same time that I introduced solids (cleared this with his doc and got the OK as long was we stuck to foods that didn't include nuts, honey and other allergens advised against in the first 12 months.)  He instantly loved them and the liquid meals kept him full and happy. We made this part of his daily routine and now when he wakes up a smoothie the first thing he asks for! I call it his "baby coffee" because he's not fully awake and ready for the day until he has had at least 12oz of yummy fruit and veggie medley.  Added bonus: whenever Boo won't eat a meal that I have cooked,  or is sick/teething and doesn't seem interested in actual food,  and especially when "the incident" happened and Boo had to live in a spica cast for 10 weeks we LIVED on smoothies.  Dense nutrition, easy to make and portable!

**It is very important to me to feed Boo organic fruits and veggies, non-GMO (if I can find it), no added dyes, artificial sugars or sweeteners, etc. which I know can be expensive.  Costco, Aldi and Winn Dixie all offer Organic, Non-GMO, no high fructose corn syrup products at a lower cost than other grocery stores.**

For recipes and tips on smoothie making I heart this book big time!


Heres what I do to prep smoothies for the month:

Wash and Dry baby spinach and baby kale (I find these easier on Boo's tummy while offering the same benefits as mature kale and spinach)

Break out your favorite frozen and fresh fruits: dark cherries, pineapple, mango, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, citrus, apple slices etc.

Using quart size freezer baggie and add a heaping handful of spinach or kale and any combination of fruit.  Squeeze excess air out of the the baggie.  Typically I can get 2 days worth of smoothies out of one baggie.  Just add half the bag to the blender with your liquid and additions.  The frozen spinach or kale blends very nicely and no one would even know it's in there by taste! In my house we make enough for one smoothie a day for at least 30 days or more.  The goal is between 15-20 baggies. If you have any left over greens freeze them in snack bag size portions for soups, sauces, extra boost to smoothies, etc.

Our daily morning routine:

I add a fresh (not frozen) ORGANIC banana or fresh avocado daily.  In my opinion, these blend easier and give the drink a creamier constancy if added while at room temp.  For a liquid base I like to use kefir for added probiotic benefits. You can also use coconut milk, sambazon juice (yum) or water.

Add in some extra love:

I like to add in a dash of cinnamon, a generous glob of local honey, a couple of 60% cacao dark chocolate chips, or a spoonful of nut butters (almond, cashew, etc) **DO NOT add these if your child is UNDER 12 months or you suspect any allergies.  Check with your pediatrician before adding new foods like these into your kiddos diet. 

Mix it up: Currently I use a NutriBullet which is easy to clean, blends fast, and takes up very little space on my counter.


Toddler eating habits can drive you crazy so best of luck!

-W and Boo