Picky Eaters

Hog

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Started transitioning to vegan about 3 months. We currently do not have cheese, milk, or meat in the refrigerator.

My family two sons are picky eaters. They love peanut butter sandwiches, peanuts, whole wheat bean burritos, whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce, and potatoes. I also give them orange juice fortified with calcium. They can tolerate oatmeal, brown rice, and peas. I also give everybody a multivitamin to be safe.

My autistic son can not help that he is a picky eater. It is part of his disability.

When you look at our families diet, what do you see that looks most lacking from a nutritional standpoint?

Thank you very much for any help that you can provide.
 
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SapphireLightning

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Started transitioning to vegan about 3 months. We currently do not have cheese, milk, or meat in the refrigerator.

My family two sons are picky eaters. They love peanut butter sandwiches, peanuts, whole wheat bean burritos, whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce, and potatoes. I also give them orange juice fortified with calcium. They can tolerate oatmeal, brown rice, and peas. I also give everybody a multivitamin to be safe.

My autistic son can not help that he is a picky eater. It is part of his disability.

When you look at our families diet, what do you see that looks most lacking from a nutritional standpoint?

Thank you very much for any help that you can provide.


A good way to get an idea of what nutrients are in a diet is to go to https://cronometer.com/ and enter it in. It is a very good site for getting a "pulse" on your diet. Bare in mind though that not all foods have complete data on them, for instance nutritional yeast does not include data for amino acid breakdown, but for the most part their database is complete.
 

Lou

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A good way to get an idea of what nutrients are in a diet is to go to https://cronometer.com/ .

Hey! That's my line!

Cronometer's nutritional info is limited by the information provided by the producer. Sometimes you can get better info just by changing the brand name. I have to do that for ground flax seed. And if you use that product a lot you can also add in the details on your own.
 
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Lou

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I don't see fruit.
Some kids need to be tricked into eating fruit.
Try putting raisins in their oatmeal. Some kids like apples and bananas straight. some need it to be fixed up. Apples can be peeled and sliced and slathered with peanut butter. Bananas can be added to smoothies. Banana/chocolate/peanut butter smoothies! Bananas can be frozen and dipped in chocolate. Most kids will eat grapes. And nowadays moms all know how to make a healthy fruit popsicle. and with summer coming up...

I also don't see any green veggies. Most kids like carrots and celery if cut up into sticks.

There is a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Simpson. You can get if from the library and some of its recipes are online now. some of the ideas in the book involve taking veggies and pureeing them and adding them to other dishes. Many of the dishes aren't vegan but most can be veganized. Some moms don't like this concept. they think that by disguising vegetables does not help develop kids tastes for fresh veggies. I say whatever works.

There are also a bunch of cookbooks called something like Hidden Veggie Recipes. I Just googled it and found that PETA has veganized a few of these for us
 
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amberfunk

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I understand where you are coming from. My son is a picky eater as well but at least he's getting a little better. What has helped so far is that I make him smoothies (I blend them really well so it's smooth) so he gets his greens along with having pouches. He also went shopping with me the other day and helped pick out his own food. That might work for you. I really do recommend smoothies though. You can also throw in about half a tablespoon of plain pea protein in the smoothie for extra protein and iron.
 
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Hog

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Thank you for your thoughtful replies.

Please correct me if I am wrong. I will be grateful for your information.

I thought the orange juice with calcium counted as all the necessary fruits. The family will eat fruits. In a worst case scenario, I could cut up the fruits and soak them in juice with a tiny bit of sugar. They will eat the fruits. Still, fruits can be a little pricy. If everybody says that I need fresh fruits because I am missing some nutrient then I will add more fruits.

The fruits can do a number on my system. Now that we gone vegan, everybody needs to poop at least twice a day. If I eat too many fruits, things are not pretty.

Getting my two sons to eat the leafy green vegetables is a battle that I would rather avoid. Are they absolutely necessary?

=======

I think that I have been going vegan on some subconscious level for nearly a year. Positive things happen to your body when you go vegan. My wife lost weight without going on a diet. She eats as much as she wants! My overweight son is now slim. My underweight son is now slim but not underweight. I have lost a little bit of weight. Still, I was able to go off my blood pressure medicine.

Lastly, I know that I am being better to the environment and reducing animal suffering.
 
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amberfunk

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Orange juice doesn't really count as a fruit. It's pasturized so they might have to put vitamins back into it, correct me if I'm wrong. Green leafy veggies give vitamin k, magnesium, calcium (natural calcium and not fortified, multivitamins do not get absorbed as vitamins from foods), iron and vitamin a which could all be missing from the current diet that you posted. I get the leafy veggies into smoothies for my son and there is no fight about it whatsoever. He even puts the greens in himself (I use baby kale and chard). Also frozen fruits tend to be a lot cheaper and you can defrost them and put them in oatmeal.
 

Lou

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Store bought orange juice is not worth the money.
There are some youtube videos and articles that have very negative opinions stated vehemently. I tend to agree with them. but i don't' want to scare you off. So here is a more nuanced article.

Although OJ is maybe the worst offender, all the juices are not healthy drinks.

However, 2 - 3 servings of fruit a day is pretty much required. Kids probably just need one or two.
You might already be close to this. Bananas, avocados, apples, tomatoes, melons, are all fruit. Dried fruit is not as good as "real" fruit but they can be counted too. My favorite is dried apricots. When buying dried fruit try to avoid the sulfured ones. Bananas are great because they can be blended. Apples are great cause they can be eaten in the car, or bus or while walking, without making a mess. And one-handed, too.

Think of all the money you are going to save on not buying OJ and put it towards keeping a bowl of fruit in the kitchen. With kids, it seems that they like smaller pieces and/or sliced up. that can be kept in Tupperware in the frig. And let the kids snack on those. Just having the fruit available and ready to go when the kids get hungry should make a huge difference in the fruit consumption.

Speaking of fruit, you should also include a handful of berries in your diet. Grapes, raisins, cherries, strawberries.

Yes, leafy greens are a must. And smoothies are an excellent way to get them. They are called as a category green smoothies. I'll link you to some good recipes. Also, the Deceptively Delicious Recipe books are loaded with great ideas about sneaking in greens.

But you might take a look at this article. Making a green smoothie for everyone in your family and making it just another part of the daily meal plan should fill in most of your "nutritional holes".

Green Smoothies

And I have a correction from my previous post. I thought that Hidden Veggies was a cookbook. (actually i thought it was a series of cookbooks - I don't know what I had it mixed up with.) But its a website and blog from a vegan mom/cook. Sounds like a perfect resource for you.

Hidden Veggies Website and Blog
 
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Hog

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Thank you again for your thoughtful replies.

I will not purchase any more orange juice. I will just buy the fruit instead. I think I understand the point. The sugar is not attached to the fiber. Thus, you get a huge sugar rush and then your crash. This overloads the body just like a soft drink. In my opinion, sugar is a drug.

I will attempt to work on the leafy green vegetables slowly in the next couple weeks.

Is grinding up calcium pills and sneaking it in other foods a good idea?

Thank you again for your help. I have a vegan mentor from PETA. I also have your help. Without the help of strangers from online, I would never be able to go vegan. So you did your part to save the live of a pig, a cow, and possibly a wife.
 

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Is grinding up calcium pills and sneaking it in other foods a good idea?

It is probably not necessary. I would use chronometer to check the calcium intake of your daily meals.

Unlike many other minerals and vitamins, excess calcium can be a health risk. Probably not an issue with kids but it wouldn't hurt to be cautious.

I'm a big soy milk drinker. I get my B12 from it. It also helps with Calcium, protein, and vitamin D. As far as I know, all the plant milks have added calcium and vitamin D. adding plant milk to cold cereal, hot cereal, and smoothies should be no issue for kids. (or grown-ups). Beans, some of the leafy greens, and some nuts and seeds are also good sources of calcium.
 
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Forest Nymph

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More fresh fruit and veggies. Put some frozen berries or dried fruit in their oatmeal, maybe. Leave carrot sticks and raw broccoli and cut sweet peppers on the table with hummus and just let them snack on it at their own will. If they won't eat greens, I second the idea of blending leafy greens like kale into sweet smoothies, or into the tomato sauce you put over their spaghetti.

I've fed omni kids Gardein before. It's really not that difficult to convince a child to eat their 7 Grain Tenders, Fishless Filets, or other frozen vegan finger foods with some kind of dipping sauce (mustard, ketchup, vegan ranch, homemade vegan tartar sauce, etc). Will they even eat green beans on the side?

Soy milk can be used over cereals, and you could try some tofu sauteed in something like teriyaki or orange sauce over their rice for dinner sometimes.

Good luck.
 
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Hog

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I like the secret sauce idea from the link on how to sneak in food. I have to be careful or there could be a mutiny. My autistic son could be mad if I got caught. I can hear the lies come out of my head now. "But, I thought you liked those yummy leafy green vegetables. I put them in the sauce just for you."

Maybe, I need to get over my fear of soy milk and tofu. I never tried either of them. I come from a long line of trailer trash. The television series, The Trailer Park Boys, is based on my family. Please see the below picture of Mom, Dad, and me.

I should confess that I can eat lots of vegetables raw with no problem. However, those same raw vegetables make me want to gag if they are cooked.
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