On a daily basis, I find myself struggling to feed her. We have tried everything you can think of to get her to try new foods. She has grown the food in the garden, picked the food from the plant, washed and prepped vegetables, helped cook, picked out meals, etc. We've done the "tough love" route: This-is-what-is-for-dinner-and-if-you-don't-eat-it-you-will-get-it-for-breakfast. Yep, I served the same dish for dinner, brought it back out for breakfast and for lunch the next day, but once my daughter had refused to eat for 24 hours, I gave in. I know, I know, maybe I should have held my ground. But my child, then 3-years-old, had not eaten anything in a whole day (including drinking milk, which I held back intentionally). They say when your child gets hungry enough, they'll eat what is in front of them, but I'm betting my kid would eat just enough to get by, then go on another hunger strike. And that's no way to live -- at least that method doesn't jive with our parenting style.
We have had a few victories lately, though, when it comes to Cora trying new foods. She has successfully chewed and swallowed cubed steak, pork chop, sweet potato, corn bread (GF) and vanilla yogurt. Of course she says she doesn't like any of these foods, but we've convinced her she needs to try them over and over again due to her incredible sensitivity to food textures. Yes, she inherited this lovely quirk from her daddy (he will never eat any kind of berry, they're too squishy)... lucky me. We think with repeated exposure to different textures, she will become more familiar to the feel of different foods and therefore hopefully learn to like them, even if the process does take years.
I'd love to hear what others do to get their picky eaters to try new foods, especially texture-sensitive children like my own. Got a good idea that works for you? Leave a comment!
A couple weeks ago, I had some portobello mushroom caps getting ready to go rotten, and I knew I had to think of something to do with them. Stuffing them with some kind of filling seemed like the popular thing to do, but most recipes I found called for ingredients I didn't have or didn't want to cook with: large quantities of cheese like a whole brick of cream cheese (I'm 95% dairy free), processed ready-made "sausage crumbles" (whatever those are), condensed soups, buttery crackers, and processed block cheese. I just wanted a simple stuffing to go on a simple mushroom and have it taste good. So here's what I did:
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
4 Portobello mushroom caps, rinsed or brushed clean, gills removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 lb ground beef
1 small red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 slices gluten-free bread, crumbled into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Lightly coat the mushroom caps in olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put mushroom caps on wire rack and bake for 10-15 minutes until mushrooms are almost done. Remove and set aside.
2. Heat a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until almost done and a few pink pieces remain. Add onion and continue to stir and cook until onion is softened and beef is cooked through. Drain grease if needed. Add garlic and cook another a minute. Salt and pepper to taste. Off the heat, add crumbled gluten-free bread and parsley. Stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly.
3. With the mushrooms resting on the wire rack and the cap-side down, spread cream cheese evenly mushroom caps. Scoop beef mixture on top using a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Bake about 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve.