Mr 6 is a fussy eater. None of the usual strategies worked with him as a toddler/pre-schooler. The food he eats, he LOVES but at age 4 we sought professional advice and developed some strategies to slowly increase the variety of flavours, textures and shapes he would accept.
A side note – for some children, their sensory issues with food can be so pronounced that the standard, “just one bite”, “offer it 10/20/however many times” type strategies will never work and only exacerbate the situation. Not to mention creating stress for everyone. Harmony in this house is often preparing different meals for family members’ varying needs, sometimes with components in common, sometimes not. That’s what works for us.
So, while we’re gradually chipping away at increasing the variety of foods in his diet, I try to make sure that (most) of what he does eat is as nutrition-packed as possible. Of course, some days, it gets too hard and I’m slack and let him eat things I’d prefer he didn’t.
With Mr 6’s issues with texture, hiding veggies in pasta sauce etc does not work. One of the ways I’ve successfully got ‘better’ food into him is to add little powerhouses like chia into biscuits and homemade bread and to gradually substitute flours, sugars, fats and so on. School is nut-free so I need to save those little gems for home.
One of Mr 6’s favourite biscuits is an ANZAC. I started with this classic recipe from $120 Food Challenge and baked them countless times as is. Delicious and way better then the supermarket version with real ingredients, not numbers.
Sometimes I added a mushy banana for slight variation in taste AND texture. Tick.
Spelt flour for plain flour. Rapadura sugar for brown. A combination of desiccated and shredded coconut. Rice malt syrup for golden syrup. Tick.
And my latest tweak was to add in coconut oil as part of the fat component. The batch is all gone… Tick.
So this is my recipe as it stands –
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut (desiccated or shredded)
3/4 cup rapadura sugar
2 tbsp chia seeds
40g coconut oil
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
2 tbsp water
1 tsp bicarb soda
Sift flour into a bowl. Mix in oats, coconut, sugar and chia seeds.
Melt butter, coconut oil, water and rice malt syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat.
Stir in bicarb and add frothy mix to dry ingredients. Stir well until combined.
Place tablespoons of mixture on lined oven trays and bake at 160 degrees for 9-10 minutes. Rest on trays for a few minutes before transferring to racks to cool.
These keep very well (out of hands’ reach) and also freeze happily.
Many thanks to these amazing women for their real food cooking inspiration –
If you don’t already know them, check them out. They have delicious, healthy recipes, and loads of inspiration for living a healthy life.