What the heck am I going to do with a child who's a super-picky eater that loves fruit? The answer: I don't know.
Here's what we've done so far. First, I had the nurse practitioner explain to her about her test results and that she could not have fruit for one month -- that way Big C heard it from someone of authority other than me or her dad. Second, I gave her one day to let it all sink in, so she was able to have her precious raspberries for breakfast and some strawberries for lunch. She refused pancakes for breakfast because the syrup has a lot of sugar; it's like she was readying herself for the real deal. Next, after a brief meltdown during breakfast, we sat down and made a list of all the foods she does like (excluding fruit and sugary foods). Then we made a list for Hello Kitty because she has to do the sugar-free month, too -- surprisingly, Hello Kitty sort of liked some of the questionable vegetables that Big C kind of likes but won't necessarily admit to liking (carrots and sweet potato). I repeated the process with Little A and her Gabby Bear -- their list was a bit longer because Little A likes a lot more foods than her older sister. Then I had them look at their lists and pick out anything on it that they wanted for lunch, even if it seemed like a silly choice (scrambled eggs for lunch??). Unfortunately, Big C left out any vegetables for lunch. However, I am expecting her to become bored with her limited choices and become more open to other foods as the month progresses.
I feel like this is some kind of grand (and cruel) experiment. Aren't you curious about how this turns out? I know I am... if we survive that is!
Our first sugar-free treat is a modification of the Chocolate Energy Squares (I originally called them Chocolate Nut Squares, but they gave me so much energy that I changed the name). I omitted the honey and dates, and since the almond butter I had contained sugar (how did I miss that when I bought it?), I used some all- natural peanut butter with no added sugar. The chocolate stayed, too, since it is 86% cocoa and contains just a tiny amount of sugar. A girl's gotta have her chocolate, you know. Cora liked them just fine (phew!), but Adelle complained that they weren't sweet. Are they better with sugar? Um, yeah! But they're pretty good like this, too and if you have to be on a diet free of sugar, these are darn tasty.
Sugar-Free Chocolate Energy Squares
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup flax meal1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened nut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
2-3 oz very dark chocolate
1. In a food processor, pulse almonds, walnuts, flax meal, and coconut until coarsely ground to desired consistency. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in sunflower seeds, salt and cinnamon.
2. In a small to medium saucepan, warm coconut oil and nut butter over low heat. Stir to blend until mixture is completely incorporated. Off the heat, add the vanilla. Pour the nut butter mixture into the nuts, stirring to coat evenly.
3. Line an 8x8 square dish with parchment paper or foil. Press nut mixture into the pan.
4. In a small saucepan, gently melt chocolate over low heat, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. (Or use a double-boiler if you're nervous about this.) Evenly pour melted chocolate over bars then spread in a thin, even layer.
5. Freeze for about 1 hour. Remove paper/foil sling from pan, then cut into 16 even squares. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.