Sweet Potato says... don't say picky!

Sometimes it's difficult to get your child to eat what's on their plate. Here are some recipes to get the term "picky" out of your vocabulary.

By Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh
Sweet Potato says... don't say picky!

Everyone has a story. “My kid would eat nothing but raspberry jam and Rice Crispies for two years.” “My toddler doesn’t like foods with texture.” And of course, “My kids won’t touch cooked vegetables, only raw.”

Raise the subject of pickiness at the playground some time and just watch how it escalates. “Oh, yeah, your kid won’t touch asparagus? My kid is so picky, he won’t eat any green food!” When we complain about the way our kids refuse perfectly good and lovingly prepared food what we’re really do is asking for sympathy. And I get that. The thing no one talks about is how it hurts your feelings. You spend a precious half an hour putting dinner together (because you’re amazing) and then the love of your life takes one sniff and pushes her plate away. Ouch.
So, it pains me to say this… please don’t say picky. Because Picky Pants is listening. So don’t hand him a label and an excuse to dig into a way of eating that would have otherwise been a phase. Like most obsessions of childhood, fussiness over particular foods is an ever-changing thing. My daughter asked for a tuna and goat cheese sandwich every day for about a year and then suddenly announced that she despised goat cheese and would consume no more of it. You can acknowledge their likes and dislikes without casting a whole “picky” shadow over the dinner table. And don’t give up on certain foods because you worry your choosy eater will reject them. As long as there is something on the plate that they like, they’re not going to go hungry. And who knows, today may be the day that Esme reconsiders goat cheese.
You may think your kid would never eat kale. But look how cute these little cakes are. They’re a tasty side to breakfast or lunch. Come on, just try a little bite!
Kale, Spinach and Rice Cakes
1 cup chopped spinach?
1 cup chopped kale?
3 cloves garlic, minced?
1 tablespoon butter?
1/4 cup chopped onion?
2 eggs?
1/2 cup cooked arborio rice?
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Using a non-stick cooking spray, grease a muffin pan. Set aside.

3. In a small pan, place butter over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute for two minutes, or until onion is translucent.

4. Place spinach, kale and butter mixture into food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

5. Add rice, eggs and cheese into bowl. Stir until combined.

6. Pour mixture into prepared muffin tin leaving about 1 inch at the top. Place in the oven and bake f0r 20 minutes, or until set and edges are golden brown. Loosen edges with a knife and turn onto a plate. Serve warm with your favourite eggs.

Want some more ways to make you popular in the kitchen? More recipes from
Shrimp polenta
Shrimp is so lightning-fast to make it must be kept in every parent’s roster. And polenta is just waiting to be as popular with your kid as pasta!

Green goddess salad
Repeat after me, we will not let children take salad away from us. This salad might just be the thing to convert a green-averse child.

This article was originally published on Jul 27, 2012

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