Born to prefer the sweet flavor of breast milk humans are essentially coded to want sweets. Bitter and sour foods are equally unliked by babies and toddlers. This naturally protected toddlers during hunter-gatherer times since plants that could kill us typically have a sour or bitter taste.
So how does a parent get their picky toddler to try and actually enjoy a vegetable? This is the age-old question, right?!?!
I can’t promise the solution to all picky eating woes. I admittedly have a picky toddler who one day will devour kale chips and the next declare them the enemy. But I do know two things that continue to work…
The Solution to Picky Eating
Set a good example and just keep trying.
Yes, it’s really just that simple.
Whether your child’s picky eating is a result of nature, allergies or something else as a parent we can always continue to set a good example and just keep trying. There will be good and bad days but by not giving up you are making progress.
How to ‘Set a Good Example’ for Picky Eaters
Somewhere between my daughters birth and toddlerhood we got into so bad habits. Snacks went from homemade to processed. We ordered in more often resulting in fewer veggies being eaten at every meal. When we finally started to come out of the fog I realized I wasn’t showing Cora that eating vegetables was a priority of mine.
Snacks of veggies and hummus became the norm for me and I started to up my creativity at dinnertime. Cauliflower rice replaced rice for us and mashed cauliflower replaced plain mashed potatoes. But Cora wasn’t sold. So I decided to just keep trying.
How to ‘Just Keep Trying’ with Picky Eaters
If you have a picky eater I’m sure you’ve heard…
Kids may need to be offered a new food 10-15 times before they will want to eat it.
But I believe you can stack the odds in your favor…texture can be a BIG issue for picky eaters and the texture of mashed cauliflower wasn’t winning her over. I needed to keep trying with my recipe.
With no liquid and the addition of sour cream (one of Cora’s favorites) I hoped I had a winner….
Extra Thick Mashed Cauliflower
With a thicker texture and the slight tang of sour cream, this mashed cauliflower recipe will please your picky eater!
- 1 medium-large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4- 1/2 cup sour cream (based on desired thickness)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Add trivet/steamer basket, cauliflower, and water to your Instant Pot.
- Close the lid and set the valve to seal.
- Use the manual setting to cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Use the quick release function to release the pressure.
- Remove trivet/steamer basket and cauliflower from pot and empty out the water.
- Place steamed cauliflower back into the pot add butter, 1/4 cup sour cream, salt & pepper. Or into a blender if not using a hand blender.
- Blend thoroughly with a hand blender or blender. Add more sour cream if you'd like a looser texture.
- These reheat easily. I've also kept them warm in the Instant Pot for 30 minutes prior to serving at the keep warm setting with the lid on.
Mashed Cauliflower…Better than Potatoes?
The recipe changes were a success but not just for Cora. Turns out Chris and I prefer the thicker texture too! The sour cream adds a nice flavor without being too overpowering.
For me, the best part was how I feel after eating them vs. mashed potatoes. You know that Thanksgiving “overstuffed” feeling a big meal of potatoes can leave you with? Not with mashed cauliflower!
I don’t feel like a stuffed turkey anymore!
Make your Version of Mashed Cauliflower
My picky eater prefers sour cream but what if yours doesn’t? Or what if cauliflower is too “new” a flavor for them? I have some delicious ideas that might work well for you!
- Swap sour cream for cream cheese and a splash of milk or broth
- Add your favorite cheese, mix in or as a topping
- Use half cauliflower half potatoes (great for those not so sure about the cauliflower flavor!)
- “Loaded” mashed cauliflower; add cooked bacon, diced green onions, and cheddar cheese
- Try my dairy-free option!
What tips do you have to parent’s of picky eaters?