We have officially entered the picky food phase. Or should I say, the hibernation phase since one day, Ryder will eat three lunches followed by a week of a blueberry only diet. The other day we went for sushi and I ordered a plate of salmon sashimi for myself. Ryder ate the entire plate. Every single piece! I was so excited to see him eat and at the prospect of a new favorite food for him. Fast forward a week – same sushi restaurant, same waitress, same order and he wanted nothing to do with it. He gave me that look like, “Are you crazy? I’m not eating raw fish! Order me a smoothie, lady!”
I’ve had to resort to some sneaky moves to get my four-bananas-one-day-I-hate-bananas-the-next toddler to eat. He thinks yogurt is “ice cream”, oatmeal breakfast muffins topped with greek yogurt are “cupcakes and frosting, banana bread is “cake” and crackers are “chips”. For now this tactic actually works, but come a few years when he has a snack at a friends house and finds out what cupcakes actually taste like, I’m gonna be busted!
The other day his preschool celebrated construction day and served dirt cups for dessert. They topped chocolate pudding with crushed Oreo cookies and let the kids participate by crushing the Oreos with hammers. He had so much fun making them, I thought I’d make a healthier twist and serve “dirt for breakfast”.
These are really versatile and you can customize depending on what your child’s favorite treats are. I chose to make this mornings “dirt” by combining 7oz Fage Whole Greek Yogurt with 1 Tablespoon of Kraft’s JELL-O’s Simply Good Instant Pudding Mix and 2 T Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk to make it a bit thinner to mix. Next, the greek yogurt is topped with a layer of Trader Joe’s Raw Unsalted Almond Butter. The dirt layer on top is Chocolate Cheerios and I served them in his favorite bulldozer and excavator and let Ryder dump them in himself. He LOVED this!!!
I prefer Kraft’s JELL-O Simply Good Chocolate Pudding Mix over their traditional mix as they don’t add artificial flavors, dyes or preservatives. It does use cane sugar, but I felt the tartness of greek yogurt needed a little sweetness. You could swap out the pudding mix for cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder if you want less sugar.
I recommend selecting toys that can be cleaned easily and don’t have any small parts or screws that can accidentally break off and be swallowed. I used these CAT Mini Machine Caterpillar Construction Toy Trucks, which you can order on Amazon here.
Fair warning: this is a MESSY meal. At this point, getting Ryder to eat is such a huge win, I’m willing to overlook the mess factor or the fact that I’m encouraging playing with his food and just feel relieved he’s eating. Keep the wet wipes handy!
Tell me. What are some of your favorite Mom wins when it comes to picky eaters?
- 7oz. Fage Total Greek Yogurt
- 1 T Kraft JELL-O Simply Good chocolate pudding mix
- 2 T Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Milk or preferred milk
- 1 T Trader Joe’s Unsalted Raw Almond Butter or nut butter
- Chocolate Cheerios
- Clear plastic cups
- Lots of wet wipes
- Toy trucks (make sure there are no loose, small parts)
- Mix Greek yogurt, pudding mix and almond milk until smooth. Let sit for five minutes until it thickens to a mouse consistency.
- Top with almond butter.
- Fill trucks with chocolate Cheerios.
- Let toddler go wild! Show them how to dump the Cheerios dirt into the yogurt “mud”.
- Take photos and have fun!!