Surviving Meal Time and Veggies With Picky Toddlers
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I’ve got three boys, two of which are picky eaters, the other one is a nine month old baby who wants to eat everything. He’d probably be happiest with wood chips and dirt, rather than the organic purees.
I’ve had my fair share of struggles with getting my toddlers to eat anything really. They just don’t want to slow down and eat. Playing, running, fighting, hiding…those things are all way more fun. I’ve had to really step up my veggie game to get these boys to even look at anything green.
For a while, I resorted to actually putting bowls of food on the floor with a tv show on. I fed them like dogs in the kitchen. Here’s your bowl, food and have at it. I couldn’t get my oldest to sit still in the high chair, so I hit a new level of motherhood in those days. I resorted to my pre-baby, furry-baby days.
Today, as they’ve gotten a bit older, I’ve graduated to picnics and pure creativity to get them to eat anything with a hint of green. I’ve also found some staples they love. One of them is Pizza.
A simple pizza is easy for me, and I know they will eat it. We’ve been loving the Red Baron® Classic Crust Pepperoni Pizza from Walmart. Pepperoni or Cheese are the go-tos, thin crust is the one my husband likes. Let’s face it, it tastes just as good as home made, and as a mom of three little boys, I just don’t have a spare hand to make a pizza right now.
I pair the pizza with some clever veggie recipes, that help us get our veggies in with the pizzas. This has taken some major trial and error. I mean, I’ve tried telling some elaborate, creative stories about dinosaurs eating star leaves (Land Before Time anyone??) as well as completely bribing them with pounds of candy per bite of veggie.
Here’s some veggie pairings that I’ve found actually work to get my kids to eat some healthy greens with their Red Baron Pizza.
These are very simple to make, and the boys can help me if they want too. They don’t even think twice about eating them because they are covered in the ultimate cheese cracker coating. That’s my newest trick that works. Cover the veggies in something they love!
1 Box of Cheesy Crackers of your choice (you’ll use about a quarter to a third of the box)
1/2 cup of flour
Salt and Pepper
Here’s what you do:
1. Cut your zucchini in tater-tot sized chunks, or you can do longer, thinner chunks to resemble fries.
2. Spray with a cooking spray or drizzle with oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
3. Fill a large zip lock bag of your favorite cheesy cracker, and start crushing them as small as you can. You can use a metal spatula, let the kids punch the bag, or roll a rolling pin over the bag to crush into a fine, cracker dust.
4. Separate the flour, eggs and crackers into their own bowls.
5. Roll your zucchini in the egg mixture, then the flour mixture, back to the eggs and into the crackers. It’s actually really fun for the little guys to do it too. When I feel like I can handle the mess, I let them help.
6. Lay the pieces on a greased or sprayed baking sheet. I always line mine with foil and then spray.
7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes on 375 smack dab in the middle. Keep an eye on them because every oven is different.
8. Take them out to cool.
9. Make a sauce!! My special sauce is a bit of marinara mixed with ranch! The boys will sometimes dip their pizza in it too!
10. Enjoy, and get creative! What’s great about this is you can substitute the cheese crackers for a gluten free version, your favorite cracker, crushed cashews and more!
More veggie pairings we love is this green been cheese casserole BUT I use crushed up cheese crackers rather than the fried onions. Super kid friendly!
The Red Baron® Classic Crust is our top choice. Its delicious, super easy to pop in the oven while I wrangle my little munchkins into some sort of order for a meal time. Toddlers are so difficult to fee sometimes! I swear I could let them go days without eating and they wouldn’t even notice. But, I’ve chosen challenge my mommy-brain and develop ways to get them to eat vegetables. Its not easy, and to be honest, one day they love something, and the next, they won’t touch it!