July 31, 2012

My Little Unicorns

My Little Unicorns
My children have become very picky eaters.

This is absolutely my fault.  For the last year- a third of their lives- I've been trying to take it easy on myself.  That meant that while I was going to school and M was going to school and I was pregnant, I didn't do a lot of cooking.

Now, I love to cook.  But when you've got to choose between doing your homework or making a healthy meal, I chose the homework.  And for that matter, if you have to choose between getting your kids to eat their food quickly or getting them to try new things, I was going to opt for quickly.

By the time RH was born, the girls only ate a small list of foods.

Beans, corn, avocados, mangoes, PB&J, grilled cheese, string cheese, pizza, melons, berries, grapes, peas, french fries, and tortilla chips.  Oh- and breakfast.  For breakfast, they're always pretty much awesome.

I think that's it.

So, that was a problem.

As soon as my post-surgical swellings and whatnot started going down, I decided to take control of the situation and get my kids back to eating all sorts of food.

How was I going to accomplish this feat?

Phase One
It came to me in a flash.  Grandma had made macaroni and cheese with wheel shaped noodles.  With peas mixed in.

Now, my picky eaters only occasionally eat mac n' cheese.  And when they do, they only accept elbow macaroni.

And they absolutely refuse to "mix" foods.  It's a common toddler fixation- each food must be separate.

I saw the effort she'd put into the meal, and my heart dropped a little.  My picky eaters were not going to eat that food.


As we got ready for dinner, DD began to tell me that she wanted to be a unicorn.  "Me too!" piped up SI.  And thus was my brilliant idea born.

"You CAN be unicorns!"  I said, "All you have to do is eat unicorn food!"

"What is unicorn food?" they asked me.

"Circles," I said, "Unicorns eat circle foods.  Like apples, and peas, and unicorn noodles.  And guess what?  Grandma made us unicorn noodles for dinner!"

You would have thought I told them that I had a real life unicorn in the kitchen.

Phase Two
They actually ate their circle foods pretty well.  I had told them, that if they ate their unicorn food all up, they would start to turn into unicorns.  So after dinner, while they ate a few last unicorn noodles, I hopped into my studio and whipped up a couple of horns for them.

It was simple enough- two colors of colored pencil, a bit of watercolor paper, and a ribbon turned into each unicorn horn.  They were thrilled.

The next day, we tried more circle unicorn foods.  It was easy- all you had to do what cut the food into a circle shape, and it was unicorn food.  And if it was unicorn food, my kids would try it.

Within twenty four hours, it was time for my unicorns to grow tails.  I used some rainbow yarn I had lying around, and made them simple tassles they could tie around their waists.

By the end of the week, we'd had a wide variety of circular foods.  Fruits, vegetables, tiny unicorn blueberry pancakes (they previously wouldn't eat pancakes with fruit in them), anything I could think of.  And my little unicorns had earned their hooves.

Phase Three
Although I haven't figured out what to turn them into next (SI wants me to turn her into a zebra, but DD wants me to turn her into a MAGIC unicorn), but the long term effects have started.  Already, they are much more willing to try new things- circular or not.  It's not perfect- but it's something.

I'm thinking that the next time they turn into another creature, it will be through eating orange foods.  Oranges (why won't they eat them???), sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe (DD's favorite anyway), cheese...  Maybe orange foods will turn them into robots?  I don't know.

And after orange foods...


And then?  Then I might just be done with having picky eaters.


  1. I love this idea! My 5yo is a pretty good eater, but this is brilliant!

  2. Go Mommy! What a brilliant idea. I love it when kids bring out our creative side!

  3. Such a creative idea! Stopping by from MBC. I am a new follower. Hope to see you at True Aim!



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