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<p>How do you overhaul the diet of two "stuck in a rut" children?  (2 and 4) The 2 year old only began eating real food at 22 months (he was in therapy for eating and BFing 90% calories at 18 months) and the 4 year old had such problems gaining weight that we let her eat anything that she wanted to (I know...DUMB).  We're vegetarian and started out vegan but with the FTT issues (16 lbs at 1 year) we moved to some dairy and eggs.  Sigh- we're stuck in the pizza, mac and cheese, crackers rut with the girl (4 years) eating some beans and hummus too.  Breakfast is always WW or WG toast/bagel with earth balance.  I'd love to see them eating more grains, beans, veggies (fruits are not an issue- they love them)  but what do I do?  Have you successfully gotten your LOs to move on the the big wonderful world of whole food diets? If I do make it and serve it (like not a special dinner for them but what DH and I are having they taste it....but refuse to eat any more than a bite.  They then sit and wait for hubby and I to finish dinner then they can have cereal or toast.  WWYD?  Success stories?</p>
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<p>We did have allergy issues with both as infants to soy/dairy in my diet while breastfeeding- allergic colitis was major symptom, bith seem to have outgrown it by 18 months.</p>
 

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<p>Really? Stop sweating it. (Well at least that's what I did after three kids. ;) )</p>
<p>When food becomes a battle the kids will refuse more and more foods and you will get stressed more and more as well. And for the record - apart from refusing beans and veggies your little ones' diets aren't that bad in my eyes. They eat ww grains, dairy and eggs as well as fruits!</p>
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<p>We are omnivores so obviously our diet is a tad different to yours but the kid's favourite foods aren't. I made little switches so that I don't feel their diet is too onesided and they are content to get their loved ones. And let me add that all of my three kids are different eaters so accomodating each and everyone of them isn't that easy ;)</p>
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<p>Lets start with PASTA: I started buying Barilla WW pasta which tastes way better than HFS WW pasta and even conviced myhesitant DH that WW paste actually CAN taste good ;). When making pasta sauce I usually add all odds and ends that are lingering in the fridge - that might be a zucchino, carrots, a piece of celery, parsley, an onion and some garlic, bell peppers, ...- and cook the sauce for about least an hour on a small flame. It gets so flavorful (and healthy!) and at the end I puree everything with a hand-held blender. Seved as 'pasta with tomato sauce+parmesan' the kids will gobble it up and be happy.</p>
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<p>MAC'n'CHEESE isn't bad per se if you get organic eggs, full-fat milk, good organic cheese and ww pasta. You could also add some finely shredded carrots and/or zucchini if you like. :)</p>
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<p>PIZZA could also be 100%homemade if you aren't a lazy butt like me (I usually get ready-made ww pizza dough at the organic supermarket) - same sauce as you would make for a pasta dish, organic cheese, maybe some finely sliced button mushrooms.</p>
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<p>I haven't really met a kid that liked beans. I personaly think that ít's a textural issue - they are rather grainy and dry on the inside and truth to be told I also prefer the small lentils to bigger beans. What goes well with them are lentil patties that they dip into tzatziki.</p>
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<p>They also love potatoe wedges dipped into tzatziki or organic ketchup.</p>
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<p>Both boys dislike most veggies COOKED - they'd rather have them raw. So veggies sticks+dip go great as well as raw veggie salads like shredded carrots w/olive oil+lemon juice+salt+pepper or w/walnut oil+apple cider vingar+salt+pepper. Or a cucumber salad - finely sliced or cubed cucumbers and a dressing made of buttermilk or greek yogurt, fresh or frozen dill, apple cider vinegar, salt+pepper. Or how about a greek salad?</p>
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<p>Or how about some muffins with zucchini or carrots? The amount of sugar can usually be half and when you use ww cake flour it's healthier as well.</p>
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<p>Phew, that's all that came to my mind for the moment. In case you need any recipes or directions feel free to ask :)</p>
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<p>HTH!</p>
<p>Valerie</p>
 

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Honestly, I don't think there's much more you can do besides prepare tasty food, enjoy it yourself, and let them eat what their appetite guides them to. That said, I think I would probably stop offering the cereal and toast. That's what I do: I plan a good meal, with some choices. Anybody who'd like to eat may, and anybody who isn't hungry is welcome to politely refuse the food, but having made that good meal, that's all I make.<br><br>
Keep in mind, though-- young children have a high need for dietary fat. In our efforts to make "healthy" food, we can't forget that they have less of a need for the foods high in antioxidants and minerals, like we do, and a much higher need for the macronutrients that provide energy and fuel growth-- especially proteins and natural fats. Sometimes you can help the veggies along, for example, with some good organic butter, or some cheese. Nothing's wrong with that.<br><br>
Refined carbohydrates, though-- white flour and sugar-- can be highly addictive. I think that some kids just can't regulate their intake of those, and need us to set external limits. So switching to whole-grain macaroni, and looking for breads without added sweeteners, and making homemade pizza with whole-grain crust, can really help.<br><br>
 
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