Once upon a time, my son was a superb eater. He would always eat whatever I put in front of him – cucumber, broccoli, quinoa, beets, brussel sprouts etc. He loved food. When he turned 2 or a bit after, he decided he doesn’t like veggies anymore. This has now branched into basically almost all fruits and vegetables- he just won’t eat it. If I do manage to get the spoon into his mouth in between crying, he just spits it out.
Kage limits himself exclusively to beige starchy foods and refuses to eat others. He gags if we force him to eat food with a problematic texture, and he refuses it if he can. The types that trigger his aversion are those that are wet and multi-textured.
The irony in this story is that I usually prepare healthy meals at home and choose smart snacks by keeping our pantry only stocked with healthy staples, vegetables and fruits.
Being serious about our healthy healthy-han conviction, my husband and I tried all things possible– bribing, diplomacy, threatening, hiding veggies under a heap of rice etc. I even turned to elaborate recipes requiring numerous cookie cutters and some serious art talent.
Until I reached a watershed from our power struggles, I brought it up with Kage’s pediatrician and after a bit of a walk down meal memory lane, she mentioned that one strong suspect would be that first time he got to taste junk i.e. chocolate, ice cream, fries etc. (not from us but from well-meaning relatives and family friends). These events apparently could alter a child’s taste preference. **A note to self for my second child.
Or she said, it could be that my son may not just be a picky eater, but it may be a sign of sensory processing disorder (SPD).
So I searched, found and sought the help of Medical City’s feeding clinic– the facility provides services that address kids’ feeding difficulties. From there, I learned that children with sensory processing disorder have a difficult time making sense of the sensory information that their body collects. This makes it difficult or impossible for a child to respond normally to external stimuli, such as food with a particular texture.
I had the choice to make him go through the feeding therapy. But, after the initial assessment, I decided not to take it any further. As soon as I closed the clinic’s door, I took a moment to put myself in my son’s shoes and I asked myself this question:
“If someone forces me to eat something that disgusts me in any way, would I eat it?”
You know my answer. And it only took that moment to bring me to a new perspective. It donned on me that I haven’t been respecting my son and his choices. I was acting as if we’re still living my childhood in the 80’s when I always had to secretly throw veggies under the dining table, join the clean plate club and continue eating even when I’m no longer hungry.
It’s 2017 and a lot of parenting philosophies have changed. I’m now in my 30’s, and I turned out to having a healthy attitude to eating despite my past lack of interest in the idea of go, grow and glow foods. Our weekly staples include steamed fish and vegetables, fermented foods etc. I love fruits and I’ll try every thing. I reckon it would also take Kage some years (decades even!) to learn to enjoy healthy, good food. I just need to give him the time he needs to come to the conclusion on his own that there is a way to approach healthy eating.
Now, I’m a lot less fussed about what Kage eats. Kage is Kage, after all. And I can’t compare him with someone else’s healthy-eating kids. I finally came to terms with the guilt that has plagued me the past year and accepted the fact that Kage’s food fussiness is largely inherited and possibly very little to do with my management of him. Instead of parenting his picky-eating, I focused my energy on teaching him table manners, dining etiquettes, saying grace and giving thanks before meals.
Today, Kage loves his chocolate cake, Wiener sausages, fried chicken and fish, chips and fries, and all other bleak foods. But he sure is making some improvements. Sometimes, he decides to eat string beans. Sometimes, peas and then carrots. And then at times, flat out refuses them. You see, not every day, but rather making slow, incremental progress that I know will gradually expand his food choices.
It’s also a good thing that Kage likes wheatgrass juice. Sincerely. Although wheatgrass has been on my radar for quite some time, until one Easy Pha-max sampling in S&R some months ago, I never really gave it much consideration. What really got my notice was an ad that claimed “one shot of wheatgrass is equivalent to eating a bowl of vegetables”. When you have a child like mine who projectile vomits if you try to sneak even the tiniest piece of kale into a mouthful of his fried chicken and rice, an ad like that is bound to capture your notice. So then and there, he got his first taste of wheatgrass juice and he’s been hooked ever since.
Wheatgrass, they say, is an amazing food that conceptually is like getting greens in a glass. The Nutrition Supplements Center states that it has nearly a gram of protein per teaspoon, but contains no cholesterol or fat. It provides eight of the essential amino acids, and thirteen of the non-essential amino acids. It contains Vitamins A, B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 12; C, E and K, as well as 15mg of Calcium, 8mcg Iodine, 3.5mcg Selenium, 870mcg Iron, 62mcg Zinc, and many other minerals. According to Health Psychology, however, there isn’t sufficient information to answer the question whether one shot of wheatgrass is equivalent to a kilogram of vegetables.
But since Kage isn’t eating vegetables, it would appear that if I can get him to take wheatgrass, it would definitely be better than nothing. Although if you’ll try my route, I would advise to check the nutritional content of the wheatgrass preparation first due to the variation in quality between different brands. Easy Pha-max is one brand that I’d recommend for kids.
And if you want to up your kid’s wheatgrass game some more, here are some infused recipes that help to cleanse, alkalize, and nourish the body. Easy Pha-max brand is supposed to contain carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids, 17 amino acids, 12 vitamins, 10 minerals, more than 100 types of enzymes, chlorophyll and phytochemicals. Wheatgrass juice should then help to fuel your little one’s mind and provide energy especially throughout this school season.
Crunchy Corn Fritters (243 kcal)
Besides being rich in fiber, corn can also keep your little one stuffed and satisfied to get through their day in school.
Yields: 5 servings
- 3 cup fresh corn
- 2/3 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Juice of 1 lime, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sour cream, for serving
- 1 Sachet of Easy Pha-max Wheatgrass Pure
- In a medium bowl, combine corn, cornmeal, cheddar, cream cheese, green onions, bacon, eggs, half the lime juice. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, form the mixture into small patties.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the patties until they’re golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Garnish each with sour cream and a squeeze of lime if desired.
Wheatgrass French Toast (359 kcal)
A little trick to get your kid come home with an empty lunch box? Make it fun! A smiley emoticon cut out will entice them to devour this cheery toast and will surely get them prodding for more.
Yields: 1 serving
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 slices of bread
- 1 sachet of Easy Phamax Wheatgrass Pure
- Beat together egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass Pure.
- Heat a lightly oiled skillet or griddle over medium heat.
- Soak bread slices in egg mixture for 20 second on each side, or until thoroughly coated. Cook bread until both sides are lightly browned and crisp. Serve hot.
Green French Omelette (432 kcal)
If you’re having a hard time beause your kid is not a veggie eater, this noteworthy recipe with Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass is a delicious solution. Double the fun by assembling a sleeping rice bear that’s enveloped in a classic and comforting french omelette!
Yields: 1 serving
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tbsp. Water
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Dash of pepper
- 1 tsp. butter
- 1 sachet of Easy Pha-max Wheatgrass Lemon
- Filling: cheese or chopped ham
- Beat eggs, water, salt, pepper and 1 sachet of Easy Pha-max Wheatgrass Lemon in small bowl until blended.
- Heat butter in 6 to 8 inch non-stick omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Tilt pan to coat bottom. Pour in egg mixture. Mixture should set immediately at edges.
- Gently push cooked portions from edges toward the center with inverted turner so that uncooked eggs can reach the hot pan surface.Continue until cooked, tilting pan and gently moving cooked portions as needed.
- When top surface of eggs is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains,place filling on one side of the omelet. Fold omelet in half with turner. With a quick flip of the wrist, turn pan and invert or slide omelette onto plate. Serve
Green Lemon Cookies (136 Kcal per cookie)
Fun and tasty meet in this cookie recipe! Because it’s enhanced with Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass, you no longer have to worry if your kids are consuming sugary snacks that are filled with nothing but preservatives!
Yields: 12 pcs.
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 sachets of Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass with Lemon
- 3 tsp. lemon rind
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius for 15 minutes.
- Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
- Using a wire whisk or electric mixer, cream butter.
- Add dry ingredients to butter.
- Form a dough ball and spread using a rolling pin.
- Cut into desired shapes with cooking cutter.
- Set in ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Cool in cookie rack and keep in airtight container.
Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass is FDA-approved and comes in original, honey, and lemon flavours and available in all Mercury Drugstores, S&R, Watsons, Robinsons Supermarket and other leading groceries and supermarkets nationwide.
For order and inquires, contact Customer Service Hotline at (02) 8901111 or 09055757799 and follow social media pages: Wheatgrass C.A.N on Facebook and ilovewheatgrass on Instagram and Twitter.
♡ If you like this story, you’ll love this too → Confessions of a Recovering Food Addict
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