Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Month: March 2011

National Nutrition Month “Eat Right…With Color”

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices […]

Banana Oat Pancakes

Yum, yum pancakes. Oatmeal banana pancakes. I so love pancakes. I think my son could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is a picky eater. Occasionally he will surprise me like the time he ate hummus with carrots. He did not start out […]

Feeding Your Picky Eaters

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Limit the Treat and Packaged Foods:

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert with Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling snack offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:

— Replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, oat or coconut flour. I always add a double tablespoon of wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

Restrict Snacking Before Dinner and Other Meal Times:

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. We do not make a big deal over it because with his temperament the praise would backfire. We just let him explore on his own while continuing to offer him the good stuff. We want to make dinner a positive experience for him.


For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. It requires working with them to help them overcome their fear. When I am cooking I let him help stir or measure. Sometimes I give him his own bowl and let him create his recipe. It allows him to feel in control as he places each item in the bowl and mixes it with his hands.

Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Most of all make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Be sure to include something they are likely to eat but avoid making two dinners. Give them time and love and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:

Make and Takes – Helpful Tips to Appease Picky Eaters

Raise Healthy Eaters – How to Tell if Your Picky Eater Needs Help

What’s Cooking With Kids – Tips to Help Kids Accept New Foods

The Motherhood – How to Appease Picky Eaters

Dazzledish- More Peas Please

Food For My Family – Picky Eaters

Keep Kids Healthy – Picky Eaters

Nutrition Fitness Life – Getting Picky Eater to Eat Healthy – Science of Picky Eaters

Tilapia with Pesto

The first time I had pesto was with my friend Tammy. She was making pesto with pasta for a girl’s night out pot luck. I was in love at first bite. The history of basil begins in the regions of Liguria, Italy. This region of the […]

March National Nutrition Month

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with […]

Peppery Irish Beef Stew

Photo: Property of The Good Mood Food Blog

Traditional Irish stew begins with mutton (or lamb). It includes onions and other root vegetables such as turnips, carrots and potatoes. The use of Guinness beer in Irish beef stew is as Irish as the St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun. In America beef was cheaper than lamb, therefore, the beer was an Irish-American addition used to give the less flavorful beef stew more flavor. Traditionalists would rather use cheaper shanks and other boney pieces with little to no meat on them to flavor the broth rather than switch to beef. To thicken the stew they used potatoes, flour or barley grains.

In this version of Irish beef stew the potatoes are sliced then layered. During cooking the potato slices near the bottom of the casserole dish break down then meld with the juices to thicken the stew. The black pepper really compliments this stew but the 2 teaspoons might be too much for children and those averse to pepper. Reduce the pepper to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.

Source: The Good Mood Food Blog
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp oil
4 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large onions, sliced into half moon pieces
6 cups beef stock
Pinch course salt
2 bay leaves
5 large potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch discs
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Oven Safe Casserole or pot with lid

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the flour and black pepper in a resealable bag or plastic container. Add stew meat, seal and shake until meat is thoroughly coated with flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meat. Brown on all sides then transfer to a large over safe pot. Brown the other half of the meat and transfer to pot.

In the same skillet saute the onions for 2 minutes, adding a little oil if necessary. Transfer the onions to the casserole. Add the carrots, beef stock, sea salt and bay leaves to the pot stirring to scrape up all the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour into pot. Toss the potato slices on top of the onions and carrots. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. To serve pour into individual bowls and sprinkle with a little parsley.

Serves 6 generously

Family Togetherness: Sunday Brunch

Photo: Paul Horsch and his family during their Sunday dinner Courtesy of Sunday dinner at my Grandmother Jepson’s home was always pot roast with carrots and potatoes. As my Grandmother opened the front door to let us in the smell of roast accompanied by […]

Pistachio Pesto

I have been on a pesto kick this past month. I cannot get enough of the stuff. In years past my springtime addiction has consisted of cilantro and limes. Not sure why the sudden change. None the less I am not complaining. Pistachio pesto is a […]

March Website Review: The Thrifty Crafter

Photo: Property of The Thrifty Crafter

A Bargain Shopper’s Guide to Expressing Creativity

This months website review is on one of my three favorite go to craft sites: The Thrifty Crafter. The thrifty Crafter offers tantalizing recipes like Halibut and Chickpea Salad or a Sweetharts Sugar Cookies tutorial. You will also find fun zany projects and stylish elegant ideas. My favorite of all and the reason I came across The Thrifty Crafter was the huge paper pom poms.

Happy Entertaining!