When my first son was born I did everything by the books. I cannot tell you how many books and articles I have read on discipline, sleep, and the big one: healthy eating! However, he never seemed to take to that healthy eating thing. Anyone who has met my 4yo knows he sticks to the 5 basic food groups: Meat (Tyson chicken nuggets), Dairy (yogurt, cheese sticks), Grains (Doritos, pancakes), Fruit (bananas), and Vegetable/Legumes (peanut butter).
It is a constant battle to introduce new foods. To place new food in front of him would be tantamount to a Game of Thrones battle.
Does this sound familiar:
“What is this?”
“It’s _________. It’s really yummy.”
“Yuck! I don’t like that!”
“You’ve never had it before so you can’t say you don’t like it. Give it a tiny taste before you say no.”
“I’m not eating that! Take this food away and get me something different!”
“I’m not giving you anything until you taste that food! You can starve for all I care. Then you’ll beg me for a taste of _______.”
“I’ll NEVER eat that!”
Who do you think won the battle? In the end the child always wins. Every book says not to turn eating into a battle, but as a concerned parent, how can I not. It is so frustrating to spend all that time preparing a meal just to have it rejected. It is so stressful to think about the nutrients your child is missing. And it is downright scary when your child will not eat enough to put on weight.
At my son’s last well visit I talked to the Doctor about his eating habits. The Doctor said, “you are pretty much stuck with what you have. There is no changing a picky eater. He’s not going to wake up one day and ask for steamed broccoli.” You can image how helpful I found those statements.
That evening, as I prepared to cook our typical lazy dinner (pancakes), I began thinking. There had to be a way to beat the picky eater system. I needed to somehow feed my child nutritious foods without him knowing.
I stood in my kitchen opening and closing the refrigerator and cabinet doors trying to come up with a solution. Then I saw them. The sweet potatoes. I had an idea and I rolled with it.
I grabbed two sweet potatoes, cooked them in the microwave (because who has time to cook them in the oven). After they cooled I removed the peel and pureed the sweet potato in the blender with a little water.
Next I put together the pancake mix and sprinkled in a little cinnamon. Then I peaked around to make sure no one was looking, and I dumped the sweet potato puree into the pancake batter. The deed was done, there was no turning back, so I cooked the pancakes up.
My family sat down at the dining room table waiting for their pancake dinner. I nervously placed the pancakes in front of my 4yo. He took a bite, and I had to leave the room so he wouldn’t see how happy I was that he was eating. The pancakes were a success!
Everyone enjoyed my picky eater (sweet potato) pancakes that night. They are great for any time of day. We have them for dinner at least two or three times a month (usually on the nights I forgot to take meat out). Picky Eater Pancakes is definitely one of our favorite meals!
Do you have a picky eater in your household? What does your family do to incorporate healthy foods? Comment below and we hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do!
– 1 cup of water
– 1 large sweet potato (or 2 small sweet potatoes)
– 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1 cup your pancake mix of choice (our family usually prefers Bisquick, however recently we started using Kodiak Cakes)
– Cooking oil of choice for the skillet
– Syrup of choice
1. Wash sweet potato. Use a fork to poke holes in sweet potato. Wrap sweet potato in a damp paper towel. Cook in microwave for 4-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Mix water, cinnamon, and pancake mix until there are no lumps.
3. Cut sweet potato in half. Take a spoon, scoop out sweet potato, put sweet potato into blender with a little water. Discard potato skin. Puree the sweet potato.
4. Mix the sweet potato puree into pancake batter.
5. Heat skillet. Add cooking oil. Use 1/4 cup to scoop batter and pour onto skillet. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes on each side.
6. Serve pancakes with syrup. Dance in kitchen while kids enjoy!