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My picky toddler is finally eating a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables at the age of 19 months old. I had a heck of a time introducing solids and thought I'd share what I learned in case it can benefit other moms whose babies don't take to solids so easily. I'm talking about if your baby is already 10 or 11 months old and is throwing 90% of what you offer onto the floor, yet gobbles up cheerios or graham crackers. This may also be be helpful to you if you are worried about getting healthy and whole food sources of iron into your picky eater. If you just want to get your baby to eat more sneaky veggies in their finger food, this could also help you.

First, his issues have turned out to be due to food sensitivities that have pushed him into having autistic symptoms. Kids on the spectrum usually have issues with food textures. They are also usually addicted to starches and grains, the very things that feed the bad bacteria and yeast in their gut. This is the key. Everything else followed from this.

What this means in retrospect is that I did the very worst thing I could have done by pushing cheerios and teething biscuits at him in desperation to get him to eat more solids. At the time I rationalized it by saying to myself that after he got used to eating these starchy and sweet foods, he would be more willing to try other foods I offered him. What I was really doing was feeding his bad gut bugs and making his food sensitivities worse.

His reluctance to take to solids should have been a big red flag to me that he might have food sensitivities, but I did not have any idea what to look for. It was not like he broke out in hives or started running at the nose. Now I know that when a food is not well digested by him, it shows up in sleep disturbance. At the time, however, he ALWAYS had sleep disturbance, so nothing stood out. To sort it out, I put him on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet into diet and then added new foods one at a time. I also had to do the diet as I am still breastfeeding.

So, I did it all wrong by giving him things like teething biscuits, french fries and cheerios. If I could do it over again, grains and starches would be the last things I would give him. When he does not have grains and starches in his diet, he is more willing to eat fruits and veggies. He actually eats a lot of broccoli florets and butternut squash fries.

Then, when he was borderline anemic at the age of ten months old, I gave him iron drops. Big, big mistake. If I could do it over again, I would give him organic liver pate and bone broth. The iron in the iron drops fed his bad gut bugs even more. Whereas bone broth is chock full of iron and all kinds of other minerals, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties that really benefit a kid who is on the spectrum or anybody who has inflammation of the GI tract.

Here is some information on how to make bone broth:
http://www.pecanbread.com/p/brothinfo.html

Bone broth can be boiled down until it is reduced and then frozen in an ice cube tray. It can be incorporated into any kind of sauce or puree, and you can also cook meat and veggies in it until it is reduced and sticking to them.

I mentioned that ds was showing red flags for autism. The good news is that he seems to have mostly recovered so far, after only six weeks of being on a diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. After going on this diet, I finally learned how to cook for the little booger and how to get him to eat sneaky fruits and veggies.

I thought I would share a few recipes to help mothers of other picky eating babies. They are from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but kids like them, especially picky eater kids. They are great ways to sneak more fruits and veggies into your babies diet, and they are great for babies who have issues with texture. Most of these can be broken up into finger food for a baby who is past the spoon feeding stage. There are also some recipes for pudding that a spoon fed baby could eat.

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From PecanBread.com:

JAMES' CHICKEN CUPCAKES
by Jamie

1 cup finely ground cooked chicken
1 pureed medium banana
1/2 cup butternut squash (pre-cooked)
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix well and put into muffin pans w/liners.
Bake at 320 for 20-25 mins.
Cool and serve.

(I have found it necessary to bake longer, more like a half hour)

VARIATIONS:
Use pureed, well cooked baby carrots in place of the squash. Add 1/2 cup of pureed, well cooked green beans with or without adjusting quantities of other ingredients.

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From PecanBread.com:

EGG FU YUNG
recipe by Jody

2 raw chicken breasts, thawed
6 eggs
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4-1/2 cup shredded carrots
(I have found that as long as the carrots are soft, ds will tolerate even more of them in there - but not if they have any crunch left to them - might be helpful to add pureed cooked carrots instead of shredded raw ones)
1/2 small onion, chopped
salt to taste

Place raw chicken into food processor. Pulse until chicken is finely cut up.
Add all other ingredients and blended until mixture is just slightly lumpy.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet.
Pour 1/2 cup of the egg fu yung mixture into the hot oil.
Cook thoroughly on both sides.

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From PecanBread.com:

SNEAKY VEGGIE PANCAKES
by Angie

4 eggs
1 cup squash (or any other pureed vegetable)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBL melted coconut oil (I have found I don't need to melt it)

Mix all ingredients well and prepare as pancakes.

VARIATIONS: Use pureed, well cooked baby carrots instead of the squash, but squeeze the water out of them first.

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From PecanBread.com:

SQUASH FRENCH FRIES
by Sheila

Butternut squash
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425F. Cut butternut squash in thin slices by hand or with a slicer. Toss them in olive oil, and place slices on a *baking stone. Bake until crisp. No turning is required

Tip: Baking Stone is available from Pampered Chef

(I put them on a cookie sheet that is covered with parchment paper. I use a french fry cutter I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond to cut them. I coat them with sunflower oil, and I bake them a half hour at 350F.)

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From PecanBread.com:

GREEN PUDDING
by Sherry

1/2 large OR 1 whole small avocado
1 ripe banana
1 rounded tablespoon favorite nut butter
(You can leave out the nut butter for a young baby. If you want to try a nut butter, pecan butter has been found to most often be the best tolerated by children who are being introduced to nuts. You can make pecan butter by throwing 1 - 2 cups of raw pecans into a food processor or a blender with a tablespoon or so of oil and blending until silky)

Scoop out avocado pulp. Combine with nut butter and banana.
Process in a blender to a smooth pudding consistency adding a little water for consistency if required.

VARIATIONS: Put little dollops in the dehydrator to make cookies for your picky and independent little eater who will only eat finger food.

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From PecanBread.com:

ORANGE PUDDING
by Sherry

1/2 cup pureed pears
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1TB cashew butter
(add a little olive oil to emulsify if needed)
blend well
(our organic carrots are very sweet so you may need to add sweetener if yours are more bitter)

(You can leave out the nut butter for a young baby. If you want to try a nut butter, pecan butter has been found to most often be the best tolerated by children who are being introduced to nuts. You can make pecan butter by throwing 1 - 2 cups of raw pecans into a food processor or a blender with a tablespoon or so of oil and blending until silky)

VARIATIONS: Put little dollops in the dehydrator to make cookies for your picky and independent little eater who will only eat finger food.

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Vegetable Meatloaf

From the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle

1 1/2 lbs. hamburger
1 egg
1 medium fresh tomato or 1/2 cup tomato juice
(If using a tomato, core it first. If using juice, consider using less. Otherwise, a lot of veggie juices come out the meatloaf while it is cooking.)
1 medium onion, cut in pieces
sprig of parsley
1 stalk of celery, cut in pieces
1 carrot, cut in pieces
small amount of green pepper

Place tomato or tomato juice in blender first. Blend, then add egg and blend. Add remaining vegetables and blend until fairly smooth.

Empty blender contents into bowl and mix well with ground beef.

Season with salt and pepper.

Form into loaf and place into shallow pan.

Spread top with homemade ketchup. (optional)

Bake at 350 degrees about one hour.

VARIATIONS: Make into little meatballs and bake on cookie sheet until done. Freeze in small batches.

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From PecanBread.com

AVOCADO MEATLOAF
by Colleen

1 egg
1 avocado peeled and pit removed
1/4 cup of butternut squash already cooked
1 lb ground meat

Put egg, avocado and butternut squash in the food processor.
Mix until completely blended.
Then added 1lb of ground round and blend again.
Put the mixture in an 8x8
square pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

VARIATIONS: Make into little meatballs and bake on cookie sheet until done. Freeze in small batches.

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Zucchini or Yellow Squash Omelet

Peel and core a zucchini or yellow squash. Grate into a bowl enough so that it is about equal to the volume of one egg. Add an egg. Mix well. Add small amount of sea salt if desired.

Pour into skillet and cook at low temperature until ready to flip. After flipping, cover the pan and turn the burner all the way down for 3-5 minutes.

Take out of pan and cut into small pieces for finger food.

VARIATIONS: If your baby likes onion, these omelets are good with a very small amount of grated onion.
 

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I plan to come back to print out those recipes, but wanted to ask where you found them as well as where you found info on that specific diet?

ODS had the exact eating problems you describe and it a milk and gluten junkie. I am in the process of taking all dairy out of all of our diets, and gluten is next. I am very concerned about YDS and whether we will have similar issues and want to be proactive.
 
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