Picky Toddler

Okay so everyone wants to know, why the nickname Hippo? Well, when my son was only a few hours old, the nurse, myself and Steven were all surrounding him prepping him to latch on for the first time. After having a C-Section and hearing all the scary stories about how the baby can be too drugged up to stay awake or he won’t latch on because we didn’t bond immediately, Steven (Jax’s father and my now ex-love) and I were staring at this little guy with beads of sweat on our brow hoping we could at least get this first feeding right! So they unwrap his little body and place him in the football position. Steven is standing there as supportive as someone without breasts can be in this situation and I’m praying this kid wants to eat. Before I could get my breast close to the kid’s lips he opens his mouth the widest I’ve ever seen a baby open their mouth before, raises his arms above his head and shakes his head. When the nurse exclaims, “Oh wow! I’ve never seen a newborn do that before, he must be hungry!”, Steven jumps in with, “Is he broken?” to which the nurse answers, “No, just hungry.” Ten minutes later with both breasts slightly smaller than they were before the feeding, Steven leans over to me, kissing me on my forehead and in the most loving way he says, “I see we have a hungry hippo on our hands. A hungry hippo just like his mama!” And the name has stuck! Not to mention that Hippos are one of Jax’s favorite animals! I know… I know…!

Since that day we have never ever had to worry about our Hippo NOT eating or taking a long time to eat. To say my son loves food would be an understatement! My son eats the same amount of oatmeal as the average 10 year old and he’ll eat just about anything. Well that was true until he turned 20 months. All of a sudden he grew an aversion to anything green! He suddenly dimmed my bright boasting light of “MY KID EATS VEGETABLES!” And being someone who believes in a very balanced diet, no canned veggies, very very little processed foods, and organic when possible, I panicked! I pictured me and Hippo sitting on Maury with his shirt off in a diaper with a pacifier in his mouth, cheeto stained hands and his weight tipping the scale at only 46″ tall.

I put a plan into action. Operation TRICK THE HIPPO was in full force. I began to add certain things to Jax’s “applesauce”, adding Naked Green Machine to his water and lots of seaweed and kale to his miso soup (which he loves). I also let him have cucumber rolls, california rolls, grilled eggplant w/ miso sauce, tempura fried green beans, Sweet Potato mash w/ additions, “Mashed Potatoes” with a twist. So here are my tricks:

“Applesauce”: It’s not really applesauce, but what does he know?! LOL! I start my sauce as I would anyother applesauce with some apples, but instead of adding just fruit, I add veggies! Here are some of my mixes:

1. Apples, Carrots, Cranberries, Cauliflower, Purple Broccoli

2. Apples, Pears, Peeled Zucchini, Cauliflower, Carrots, Blueberries

*I always sweeten with a little agave or raw sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and little allspice.

My sweet potato mash: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Broccoli, Peas, Roasted garlic, Cauliflower. I sweetened with a little nutmeg

“Mash Potatoes:

1. Mash Potatoes, Parsnips, Cauliflower, Peeled Zucchini.

I whip with cream and butter, season with sea salt and sprinkle with dried parsley.

I basically have taken the whole hiding your vegetables thing to the next level! It isn’t all that hard to make AND it’s something that I and other adult friends have enjoyed as well.