Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Healthy eating

This week's topic at Natural Parents Network is Healthy Eating. I feel a little intimidated by the type of people who have good photos to submit to such a topic, because my version of healthy eating is a little more…emotional than straight-up nutritional. I have such a skewed relationship with food that I've been spending the last couple years just trying to enjoy it, and I've been hoping my son will be able to do the same. He's become such a picky eater that it makes me feel kind of inadequate when I see all this photographic proof of other children eating raw veggies (gasp!) and the like. I mean, he eats some things that anyone would consider "virtuous" (broccoli, for instance), but we tend to take photos of Mikko eating only fun things, making it seem like he eats nothing else: Witness pancakes with white, Muddy Buddies, and french fries. Which perhaps also suggests it's all I eat, to judge by a few — only a few — of the comments I got on a recent post. But, um, no — because I'm not 3 (and taking pictures of me eating is really dull). But regardless of his limited diet at the moment, I think the idea of enjoying food and taking responsibility for it is sinking in and will help him as he gets his taste buds back in order. Here, I'll show you:

happy face pizza
Happy Face "Pizza" Mikko and I made from a
High Five Magazine recipe for an actual pizza. We had none of the ingredients for the recipe on hand, so we substituted pretty much every part. He enjoyed the making and ate none of it, but I thought it was tasty.

planting seeds for seedlings for the garden
Helping plant the first seedlings for our garden. He rarely wants to help in the actual garden, but I hope it becomes a tradition he grows into — and that he'll eventually consent to eat something, anything, that we grow!

super sprinkle zucchini brownies
Sam had an idea to make zucchini brownies, and they were a (sneaky) hit. Mikko added his own inimitable touch by emptying pretty much
all our cake sprinkles onto the top. They were quite pretty.

boy opening a can of peaches
He loves helping out with the preparation. He's decided his Home Depot apron is perfect for kitchen duty, and he fished out that can opener by himself and then helped push the blender button so Sam could make him a peach and yogurt smoothie. Which he never drinks anymore. But maybe someday he'll start up again, yes?

peanut butter, carrots, & celery — LOTS of peanut butter
He told me the baby was hungry and I needed a snack. He decided on a favorite treat of mine — celery with peanut butter — and threw in carrots for good measure. He got it all out himself and — obviously — did his own spreading job. Now, he won't eat any of those ingredients personally (and was icked out by the peanut butter sticking to his fingers), but I was touched that he made it for me.

smile when spreading peanut butter
My little guy, who has more true knowledge about the joy of food than I'll ever regain.

This is so un-wordless that I'll give you further reading if you'd like, just as a starting point:

Find sites to link up your Wordless Wednesday post
at my super-cool collection of Wordless Wednesday linkies,
and let me know if you have one to add.
You can also link up a thumbnail from your post below!

This linky list is now closed.


PippaD said...

When I was little I ate EVERYTHING seriously there wasn't a veg I wouldn't eat. Then over night I stopped, but I grew back into it again... honest!

Lauren Wayne said...

@PippaD: That is sooo reassuring! I am trying to be patient…

Emily - faliLV said...

So cute - Love the peanut butter smile!!

Run DMT said...

That pizza face ROCKS! What a great little Home Depot chef he is! That peanut butter celery carrot sticky stick looked delicious. ;-)

Stacy Uncorked said...

Love the pizza face! And what a little sweetie he was making you your favorite snack, even if he didn't like the peanut butter sticking to his fingers...definitely an 'awwwwwww!' moment! :) Princess Nagger is a super picky eater, too - I have to trick her into eating healthier than she would. ;)

WW: Incredible Shrinking Girl

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Yum! Sounds like my kids that they like making the food but not eating it.

Carrie said...

My oldest was picky until she started preschool. The snacks at school were healthy so she will eat apples and carrots for "treats" now.

My youngest is going through the "non eating" phase still. I am hopeful she will start eating more again soon. Seriously, how can they survive on so little??

Country Mouse, City Mouse said...

That is one seriously good looking snack!

Rachael @ The Variegated Life said...


Oh, the hell of trying to feed a picky eater. We pretty much eat the same 5–6 meals every week, featuring the veggies that the Critter will actually eat.

I like the zucchini-in-brownies idea. I bake a batch of muffins for the Critter's breakfast-before-school each week; he'll eat just about any kind of bread, so I bake fruits or veggies into the muffins—bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, etc.

Momma Jorje said...

Visiting from Natural Parents Network!

Oh, Lauren! I think you're being too hard on yourself. And have some faith. I hope you regain a healthy relationship with food. And Mikko will get there. I think it is important not to force ANY food issues with kids. I'm paranoid of creating food issues. And I am such an emotional eater.

Momma Jorje said...

Still visiting from Natural Parents Network!

Oh! And that snack he made ~ SO sweet of him!

As for brownies, you can also replace the oil with black beans, but I haven't gotten the recipe quite right. If you get it right, you can't taste the beans at all!

Melissa said...

Lauren, I completely agree that it is the relationship with food that is even more important than the nutritional value. I really believe a relaxed, non-coercive food environment is what benefits children in the long term. I happen to have NON-picky eaters, thus all the raw veggie pics this week. So please don't stress and compare with others. Mikko is blessed to have such a pleasant and happy food relationship(be it broccoli or french fries)!

Sara @ Halfway Crunchy said...

What a sweetie and that smile :)

I've never been a picky eater but my husband is TERRIBLE. I'm hoping J will fall somewhere between us and she loves food so far but we've had a very laid back approach thus far. Hopefully her healthy appetite keeps up throughout her toddler years here!

Lisa Noel said...

such a cute lil kitchen helper

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

That celery-carrot stick, while very sweet, gave me a bit of a shudder. :)

My older child went through a stage where he ate almost nothing but peanut butter. At 4.5 he's getting much better.

teresa said...

What a sweetie pie.
I love that last picture!
You're giving him a lot by allowing him to explore like that.

Kristen @ My Semi-Crunchy Life said...

I think it's so important to have a healthy relationship with food and enjoy it without worrying about every little thing. Especially true for toddlers/preschoolers, but important for adults to remember too :)

Faythe said...

I think Mikko is a more average kid then you believe. many go through the stage of only eating 1 thing or color, ect. I know mine did. many will only try certain textures. all you can do is have things available to try & when he is older to understand you can ask him to take at least 1 bite to try... He is growing fine ;)

Anonymous said...

oops!! I entered the linky because I thought it was about healthy eating and I just wrote something along those lines recently. But then I realized it was for wordless wednesday! Sorry! Feel free to delete it.

My post is about "making food fun" and cutting veggies/fruit into fun shapes...
here is the link

kelly @kellynaturally said...

Goodness Mikko is adorable. And happy face pizza (or, well just a bunch of yumminess & cuteness) is awesome. :)

Lauren Wayne said...

@Heather Collins: Oh, let's leave it! Fits the theme, anyway, and I'd love to take a look. :)

pat.navymom said...

Togetherness--work or play--makes for great family. Good job.

Shannon said...

I think keeping your food environment low stress is the best way for Mikko to have a good relationship with food as an adult. And for you too. Eat the foods that make you happy.
The unhealthiest (adult) eaters I know either had parents who never offered them anything they didn't like, or were forced to eat things they hated and never offered any treats at all.

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