I happily discovered Tales for Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider at our local library. It was perfect.
It is as funny as it is realistic in its portrayal of dinnertime battles. Especially when introducing new foods.
One chapter focuses on lumpy oatmeal. The main character refuses to eat it and his father creates a hilarious story featuring an oatmeal monster that eats everything in sight. At the end of the father’s outlandish tale, the boy says, “can you just make me some oatmeal with less lumps?” What I loved the most was the attitude of the father: cool as a cucumber. He never whined or begged for him to just try one bite.
Although it is fiction, Schneider artfully shows how parents and children can dialogue about food. It shouldn’t be stressful. It can even be funny.
After reading the book, Big P and I made our own oatmeal monsters.
Books can help us teach concepts to our children that we might otherwise stay away from. For example, have you ever thought to use the classic Eric Carle story, The Hungry Caterpillar, to teach about satiety or moderation? That poor caterpillar wouldn’t have a junk food coma if he stoped at just a slice of pie.
If you have a tween or full fledged teen, check out The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids: The Secrets Behind What You Eat by Michael Pollan. That book is guaranteed to get some great dialogue going!
- Ages 2 and up: The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Ages 5-8: D.W. The Picky Eater by Marc Brown
- Ages 6 and up: Tales for Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider
- Ages 10 and up: The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids: The Secrets Behind What You Eat by Michael Pollan
Here is a list of books compiled by the School Nutrition Association.
I have been stuck in an oatmeal rut for breakfast. A serious rut. My poor boys have oatmeal for their blood-type. I decided to mix things up a bit for FearLESS Friday. I picked up a bag of Japanese Millet to experiment with a different whole grain.
I love that millet is referred to as an ancient grain. The Whole Grains Council even bragged that, “before rice was widely consumed in Asia, it’s thought that different forms of millet were the staple grain in this region, as long ago as 8300 B.C.E.” Cool.
New ingredients are risky to introduce in the morning, but that’s what FearLESS Friday is all about! Who says moms can’t be spontaneous! (I hope you’re laughing out loud over my millet-inspired spontinaety. My poor kids.) I decided to make the millet into a porridge and call it, “Goldilocks Porridge,” because Big P had been dying to read our James Marshall version of the children’s classic.
Goldilocks Porridge featuring Millet
- 1/2 cup millet
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup cow, almond, or soy milk
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
- 1/2 cup raspberries (or other favorite fruit)
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Combine millet and water in pot and heat on medium high until water boils.
- Reduce heat to medium for 20-25 minutes or until millet is tender.
- Fluff with a fork.
- Put cooked millet into bowls and top with milk, berries, spices, almonds, and a sprinkle of brown sugar or drizzle of honey. Delicious!
Â© 2012 dontpanicmom.com
Thanks, FearLESS Friday for giving me an excuse to try millet.
I recently attended the fabulous Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference and sampled some seriously tasty Maple Energy Squares provided by Canada Maple Syrup. It was a welcome snack to stay alert during afternoon presentations.
They sent us with the recipe along with some Pure Canadian Maple Syrup.
Now it’s time for me to be honest. I am really unfamiliar with real maple syrup. It seemed so expensive and snooty. After sampling the syrup I was truly amazed. It is SO good.
Their website brags that “pure maple syrup has the same beneficial classes of antioxidant compounds found in berries, tomatoes, tea, red wine, whole wheat and flax seed.” Cool.
I went home and tested the bars on my own little monsters. Three cheers from them. These are perfect to pack in your purse when you are running errands. Instead of going for the free cookie at the grocery store, pull out your own naturally sweetened Maple Energy Bar.
Here is the recipe approved by acclaimed Sports Nutritionist, Barbara Lewin.
- Maple Energy Squares
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (I used old-fashioned)
- 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
- 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup (I used 1/2 cup)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries or cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (I only had dried apricots so I did a full cup)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a food processor, combine oats, dry milk, sunflower seeds, flour, maple syrup, and eggs.
- Puree until almost smooth, about 10 seconds.
- Stir in dried fruit and almonds.
- Turn into prepared pan.
- Sprinkle with coconut.
- Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown and bars are set.
Â© 2012 dontpanicmom.com
The food and content today was FABULOUS! The morning began with breakfast provided by ChooseCherries. They provided a refreshing smoothie along with the world’s best oatmeal bar. It really inspired me to take my oatmeal breakfasts up a notch with the kids.
The conference is really helping me understand the role of bloggers in disseminating accurate health information. I was thrilled to meet Janet Helm, MS, RD today. She is the genius behind www.healthyaperture.com, www.nutritionunplugged.com, and founder of the Nutrition Blog Network.
I love her because she cuts through fad diets with common sense and doesn’t like the word “skinny.” She has a great vision of how to spread accurate nutrition info using blogs and social networks. I felt like a real groupie asking to get a photo with her!