There really is nothing more gut-wrenching than seeing your child in pain and suffering.
I have three boys, ages 7, 6 and 3 and they are my world. My hubby too of course, without him, I would not even have these rabble-rousers. As much as they drive me completely insane more days than not, they are my babies.
This past week my oldest son, Ryder, was jumping on a neighbor’s trampoline when he flipped and banged into another kid. He ended up biting through his tongue, completely through it. It was gruesome, although I am glad he didn’t bite it off.
Back story on Ryder. By the time I gave birth to Ryder, I had my culinary degree. Although not a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant yet, I always leaned towards a focus on nutritious whole foods with all of my meals. I had a vision that after the birth of my first baby I would make all of his baby food. I bought the super cute containers, washable labels (because I was going to make so much amazing freshly prepared baby food), and scoured websites for baby food recipes and recommendations on when and what to feed first. I spent countless hours researching all of this.
Needless to say, Ryder turned out to be the pickiest child and couldn’t stand any of the food I made him. No matter what I tried. Simple. Elaborate. Smooth. Chunky. Single fruit. Single vegetable. Mixed fruit and veg. No matter what I tried, and I tried a ton, he almost always refused it. Or he sort of liked it and then he wouldn’t ever touch it again. Eventually, I stopped making pureed baby food because he didn’t want any of it. I switched over to organic bottled foods and I found a few varieties that he would eat. I really had a hard time accepting this, as I wanted to be making all of his food. But every single time I would try again, he shot it down.
I remember one time specifically that I cooked him a fabulous dinner. My husband was deployed, the entire meal was catered to Ryder and I knew this time, this meal would be his breakthrough. He was going to love my cooking. He didn’t eat any of it. He got down from his highchair, walked over to the cat food dish and shoved a handful of dry food into his mouth. I fell to the floor in a crumbled, blubbering mess and had a cry fest for a bit. Then I gave myself permission to accept that no matter what effort I put into it, or catered it to the current foods he was eating, it was causing me too much stress and heartache to have him reject it. It was hard to not take it personally because food is personal for me.
Now 7, Ryder is still picky. In fact, he is going through an even pickier than normal phase. These times are tough. Tough on him and tough on us, his parents. He is a textures kid. He likes everything to lean towards the dry side, and fresh fruits and vegetables lean towards the moist side. Currently he likes apples and broccoli, and that wraps up his list for fruits and vegetables. I know some kids are even pickier, but this is tough to wrap my brain around. He struggles with constipation, obviously because he likes everything that is dry. I make him drink a tall glass of water every morning before he gets anything and this has helped him a lot.
I could go on and on about Ryder’s picky eating and the domino effect it has had throughout the entire family.
From his health, worrying about his health, to dinnertime battles, to friction between my husband and I; an extreme picky eater wears us all down.
Ryder always walks the line of very thin, because he doesn’t love food much. We have run all sorts of tests and he doesn’t seem to have any allergy to foods, diabetes, or anything else. This is just him.
Flash forward to the present day and he bit through his tongue. Immediately my heart sank because I knew eating would be even more of a challenge for him. And boy was it! Finally, on day 3 post-incident, he is able to eat some food. He barely drank and didn’t eat anything for almost 2 1/2 days, he looked like death and my heart was about to bust wide open.
Let’s hope rebounding from this incident will take him back to his normal picky phase and out of the extreme picky phase. Baby steps. I have learned to be very realistic when it comes to his eating habits and not to shoot for the stars because I know he can sense my disappointment when he doesn’t like something I have made him.
I am sharing an amazing recipe for zucchini carrot banana muffins that I make for Ryder. The entire family loves it, but this is the main dish in most of his school lunches. The fact that he likes it is huge. It is the only way he eats zucchini, and yes, he knows it is in there. For some reason, he will eat it in this particular muffin. I have tried others, nope, just this one.
Zucchini Carrot Banana Muffins
I adapted a recipe from Delectably Mine and I have been making my version for about 4 years! Seriously I buy so many bananas to make sure I will always have some turning black to use for these. This recipe makes a lot of muffins, which is perfect because I end up freezing 3/4 of them. I load up my regular muffin pan and fill half of my mini muffin pan. Kids love to have a choice and sometimes they are in the mood for tiny and other times big. This variety seems to keep them coming back for more. Because these muffins have so much veggies, bananas, and whole wheat flour, I don’t sweat the sugar involved. I pick and choose my battles, and these are delicious.
The first handful of times I made these I would grate the vegetables, then chop them up even more on the cutting board. I made sure the pieces were small and hoped they would fly under this meticulous radar. I always told him what was in it when he asked. We also have lots of conversations about the importance of getting fruits and vegetables into our bodies. As his love for the muffins grew I was able to stop mincing the vegetables and was able to add grated. Now I am able to use my food processor grater blade which makes even longer strands and he is okay with it. I have even been known to add a few handfuls of raw spinach to the food processor and give it a good puree and add that to the muffins as well. It really is amazing and I can’t believe he loves them every time. Unless you have a picky eater, you don’t understand that feeling of elation when your child willingly eats something they have always refused to put even close to their mouth.
In the morning I pop a frozen one in Ryder’s lunch box and by lunchtime, it is room temperature. You can read the original recipe here.
I highly suggest you try this recipe. Our entire family loves them and I hope yours too! Even if you don’t have a picky eater, these zucchini carrot banana muffins are packed with nutrients and so yummy!
How to Make Zucchini Carrot Banana MuffinsPrint
I am sharing an amazing recipe for zucchini carrot banana muffins that I make for my son. The entire family loves it, and they’re great for school lunches!
- 1 1/2 C bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/8 C dark brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 C carrots, peeled and grated
- 2 C zucchini, grated
- 1 1/2 C mashed, ripe banana
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 C coconut oil
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Because my picky eater does not like chunks of bananas in his muffin, I mix the brown sugar with the banana to make a smooth mixture. Whisk in the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently toss together the carrots and zucchini. Pour the liquid egg banana mixture over the grated vegetables, and fold in gently to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until just combined.
- Scoop the batter gently into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 F degrees, then rotate the pan and reduce the temperature to 350 F degrees. Bake for an additional 9-11 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- If you are also making mini muffins, add them to the oven when you lower the temperature to 350 F and they will cook during the remaining time with the larger muffins. Check them with a toothpick as they may need a few extra minutes.
- Let cool completely before freezing. If freezer room allows, freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then transfer to freezer bags.
Adapted from Delectably Mine Zucchini, Carrot, and Banana Muffins. See original recipe here.
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