The Fussy Little One’s

It’s kind of funny, but many times when I mention this blog to people, particularly mothers, they respond with;

“Oh that’s great, i’d love to be able to get my kid to stop being so fussy”.

I realized many people often think ‘The Fussy One’ is designed to help others overcome their “Fussiness” with food.

If you have been a reader of mine for a while you will know that I really don’t have the answers to help children start eating their greens. In fact, if you read my bio you will discover the reason behind my Fussy name is based on the fact that I too was one of the fussy kids these parents want help with! In truth, I find that forcing myself to try new things has been the only way to actually improve my diet. Something that took me 25 years to realize!

Having just got married and with plans to start a family of our own soon, I found myself questioning parents about how they get their children to try new things and eat various items. I mean if I am so fussy, I can only imagine what my children will be like!

Below is a list of some of the suggestions people have given me for their Fussy Little eaters.

Fussy Eater

1. Force them, tell them they won’t get dessert or be able to get up from the table if they don’t eat the item.

Ok, so as a fellow fussy eater, I don’t like this option. At all. I think it’s cruel and starts a bad relationship with food. There definitely should be an element of authority at the dinner table, but asking a child nicely to try something and assuring them they can spit it out if they don’t like it is one thing…but saying they have to eat it all, or punishing them if they don’t only causes anxiety over food and should be avoided in my opinion.

I have a terrible memory from when I was about 7 years old and staying at a friends house over night. The friends mother insisted I eat a ball of pickled red cabbage on my plate. I remember I felt so awkward and upset because it wasn’t my parent telling me I had to, and I’d been taught it was always important to be polite as a guest. The smell of the cabbage made me feel sick so I held my nose and put it in my mouth, the taste was vile and salty and I remember wanting to cry. When the mother turned away I secretly spat it out in my napkin and told her I was full. Have I ever tried cabbage again? Absolutely not. More than 20 years later I can’t bring myself to even smell red cabbage…or anything pickled for that matter. I’m pretty sure it all stems from that one incident. So in conclusion, forcing anyone to eat something they don’t want to is never going to end well.

2. I’ll give you a dollar
This makes me laugh when I hear it, because it comes from my Father-in-law who told me when my husband and his brother were younger he would bribe them with money to taste an item they were unsure of. “I’ll give you a dollar if you just try a piece of this pear”. A part of me (the greedy part) likes this idea, because I probably would have forced myself to try more things if I had been offered money. Most kids over the age of 8 will be happy to gain money i’m sure but I worry bribing with cash opens up a whole other can of worms, like if the child becomes smart enough to pretend it doesn’t want to eat something in order to gain money. It also won’t work for very small children, my nephew (5 years old) couldn’t care less about money right now, but he sure doesn’t want to eat almost any of what he did a few short years ago.

dollar

3. Make the food fun!
This is a good one. I’ve had a few mothers mention it to me which reminds me of my mum who used to make faces out of my food. I must have been very young when she did this, because I barely remember it now…however mash potato spread in a circle made the face, there were peas for hair, and a sausage for a mouth (cannot for the life of me think what the eyes would have been…sliced sausage circles maybe?) I know I went through a phase of not wanting peas, but this got me trying them again and was a great way to get me to eat certain items I usually ignored. The Sausage was sometimes swapped out for fishsticks (fish fingers in UK) and there were bacon and egg type faces I recall at breakfast time. For younger children I believe this is a good method to get them at least tasting items. Also makes the whole idea of ‘food time’ more approachable.

When looking for a photo example online, I came across this ingenious item now available to buy (if they had only had these in my day! haha)

Face plate for food

If you want to buy one for your child, they are easy to find on amazon. (Site link: FACE PLATE)

4. Lead by example
This will be a tough one for me when we have children, but child specalists often recommend eating the “questionable item” in front of a child to show it’s actually good. Making over exaggerated moans of yumminess also helps them become more interested in said item. However, for me, if it comes to certain vegetables I may have to get the husband involved, because even I am too fussy for that! haha

5. Let them help you make the food
Children are more likely to want to eat food they help prepare, according to my friend with 6 year old twins at home (and various other mothers on the toddler forums!) I love this idea. Provided no burns or cut fingers happen, I think it’s a great idea to get a fussy eater (or any child!) involved in the preparation of food. I used to help my mum bake cakes, sifting the flour, stirring the icing and licking the bowl after it’s use! I was a great help as you can tell. :)

Cakes are one thing, but preparing a salad or a healthy snack would be just as exciting for a child.  I don’t have children of my own yet, but I do know that children I have baby sat for in the past certainly love getting involved with messy activities! So rolling fresh dough for pizza would be a great introduction to cooking. A vegetable pizza (which can be re-named “Rainbow pizza” so it’s more appealing) can be a great meal option, because it’s healthy, fun to make and can be colorful with the vegetables you choose. Ingredients like squash, tomato, bell peppers, broccoli and cheese (the more color the better-a lot of small children are drawn to bright colors in their food) are a good idea. Test them out, lay out a number of items and see what they are inclined to add on their pizza as a topping…they will be more interested to taste the end result of what they put their effort in to making.

6. What they don’t know, can’t hurt them!
I hate to say it, but it’s true. If I don’t know what something is before I try it, i’m more likely to enjoy it. My husband does it to me all the time with his morning smoothies.

Eg. Me-  “Ooh whats in this one?”

Husband- “The usual things you like…banana, apples, mango, pineapple”

Me- “Oh, it’s great”

Husband- “… kale and Spirulina”

Seriously?! I certainly wouldn’t have tried that on my own accord. However, when mixed with items I enjoy he can mask the “questionable” ingredients. This would work for little ones too, as creamy smoothies are always yummy as a snack.

Blended or ‘Cream of’ Soups are a great option for that too. All sorts of healthy vegetables can be added to a tomato soup or potato soup and the end result is a healthy and nutritious way for a child to get it’s 5 a day in.

Another ‘sneaky’ option is the name you give an item. When my fussy nephew was in the States we went somewhere that served ‘Veggie chips’. I made a point of neglecting to use the word ‘veggie’ and he loved them. I’m sorry to say, sometimes a little deceit goes a long way to trying new things! :)

7. Let them be fussy!
This is an odd one to put on a list of how to help a child get over fussiness when eating, but honestly it can end up sorting itself out without the parent having to worry. I was fussy for years, I think I pretty much lived on pasta and cheese for the majority of my childhood,with the occasional apple…but i’m here, i’m alive and now i’m older my taste buds have changed and i’m willing to try just about anything. So most fussy eaters will usually grow out of it.

The other thing to take in to account is a condition many toddlers get- ‘Food neophobia‘. I found this really interesting when researching picky eaters online. Food Neophobia is basically a ‘fear of new food’ that a lot of toddlers start to get around the age of two. Doctors say it usually starts when very young children don’t want the World they know around them to change. Deciding not to try new things means that what they know will stay as it always has been.

Ironically, the same condition is often found in the elderly who often become stubborn about food because they are stuck in their routine and don’t feel a need to disrupt that.

Change is often scary for anyone, so a change in diet for some children really can cause anxiety.

If you have any suggestions of how to help a fussy little eater, please feel free to comment below with your ideas! :)

Photo credit for fussy girl image: http://www.news.com.au

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Drink of the Week

Not sure what kind of “spam” messages I am likely to get posting this drink name, but it’s too dam delicious not to put on the site!

Morning SexMorning Sex

  •  2oz Bourbon
  • 3/4oz Lemon juice
  • 3/4oz Passion Fruit Puree
  • 1/2oz Masala Chai Syrup
  • 3 dash Peychauds Bitters

Shake and serve over a large ice cube.

Garnish: Orange twist or pansy flower

You can find this drink, among other greats, on the drink menu at The Wallace, Los Angeles- A fantastic new spot in the heart of Culver City. The food there is nothing short of exceptional (so much so, that I am coming out of my writing drought to discuss it!) and the drinks, although great already, will be getting a fresh spin in coming weeks from their new beverage director- Greg Bryson.

The drink listed above  is currently my favorite drink in Culver City.  From it’s memorable fun name to it’s accessible flavor profile, this drink has everything I could love in it.

The bourbon is subtle enough that any type of drinker can enjoy its flavor, no matter what their usual base alcohol preference is. It  has a delicious tropical sweetness coming from the fresh passionfruit juice, with no unnatural flavors to it (that tend to come from sweeter/fruity drinks.) It is refreshing, summery and makes me feel like i’m on vacation in Hawaii or the Caribbean when sipped on a hot day!

The presentation at The Wallace over a large ice cube also makes it an accessible ‘not too girly’ looking drink option for both men and women., which I think is very smart. In past few visits they have started to garnish it with a pansy (flower), which looks really pretty and a nice alternative to the orange peel.

I admit this recipe will be hard to reproduce at home, in particular the ‘chai syrup’ but it’s definitely worth heading in to The Wallace to try it on its home turf.  Whilst you’re there, try some of the food too…it’s all fantastic. I would write a review on the whole place right now, but I plan to go back for a 4th visit (in 2 weeks) to try even more food before I write about it. It’s just that good.

Delicious, Delicious, Delicious.

 

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Drink of the Week

Delicious drink "China Doll"

Delicious drink “China Doll”

China Doll

  • 1 1/2 oz Caprock Gin
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Coconut Jasmine Cream
  • 5 drops Jasmine Rose Water
  • Egg White

Garnish: Edible Rose Petals

In December I celebrated Repeal day (for a reminder of what that is, click here!) and ended up at No Vacancy in Hollywood. First off, I adore the entrance to No Vacancy. I used to go there when it was ‘Jane’s House’ and the building itself is, well, a house!  The Houston Brothers totally utilized this look for No Vacancy by creating an elaborate entrance wherein you enter a bedroom and a lady tells you the “house rules”, then the bed splits in half and you walk under it and end up in the main house staircase. Very cool and different.  I recommend checking it out when you’re next out in Hollywood.

Anyway, I digress. At the Repeal Day event I tried the above cocktail and it was nothing short of delicious! The original drink recipe was created by Sean Hamilton (Bar Manager of No Vacancy) and I had it made for me on this occasion by bartender Jimmy Avelar. I loved it!

It was beautifully balanced, sweet and creamy but with a delicate feminine quality from the jasmine.  From my first sip I knew it had to be a ‘Drink of the week’ on here and because of it’s ‘lady like’ qualities, I plan on serving it at my bridal shower!  Clearly it is a recipe not so easy to replicate at home, what with the jasmine infusions, but if you decide to give it a go, I don’t think you will be disappointed. :)

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2013 in review

url

In the next few weeks The Fussy One will be in it’s 2nd year! Hooray!  To mark another year of drinking, traveling and blogging I thought I would put up my stats for last year. For those who are interested below is The Fussy One 2013 annual report. It makes me so happy to see how many new people visited this site last year, even though I didn’t have a chance to work on it as much as I usually like.

Thank you to all my faithful fussy followers, be sure to keep reading this new year! Click on the link to read the stats put together for me by wordpress :)

Click here to see the complete report.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

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Remember, remember the drinks of “Movember”!

For those of you who have boyfriends, fathers, husbands or friends growing magnificent facial hair for the month of November, but have never really known why, let me enlighten you.

prostate-cancer-movember

Movember“, is the month of November when men are encouraged to stop shaving their upper lip in order to increase awareness of men’s health issues.  The Movember Foundation was set up in 2004 (by some drunk Australians no less!) with an aim to create awareness for men to get check ups, which could lead to early cancer detection, diagnosis, effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths from Prostate and Testicular cancer.

Mo-Bros (Men taking part in the moustache growing) all across the World set up sponsorship funds on http://www.Movember.com and grow unsightly facial hair in order to raise money for cancer treatment as well as start a discussion about a very sensitive topic. Their slogan “Changing the face of mens health” is totally accurate, because I can’t tell you how many people have asked my male friends “is that moustache for Movember? What is Movember anyway?” this year. 

Only down side of the whole thing is, I personally hate facial hair. This year my man decided to take part, so I have been graced with the presence of a ‘ginger’ handlebar moustache for the past few weeks! I have to say, it was all worth it last Tuesday though, when he partook in a Movember Tiki event at La Descarga (one of my all time favorite bars in LA).La Descarga flyer

La Descarga has been doing Tiki Tuesdays for a while now, but the month of November has seen a percentage of those profits go to the Movember fund. Last week was sponsored by Bacardi Rum and the guest bartenders were Greg Bryson,  Gilbert Marquez and David Kupchinsky AKA Ol’ Man Winter.

Gilbert Martinez

Gilbert Marquez of El Carmen and Scopa made the following drinks:

Plantain Daiquiri-Daiquri

  • Bacardi 1909
  • Plantain Syrup
  • Lime
  • Vanilla

This Daquri which was a nice twist on a classic, the plantain gave a light banana flavor that worked well with the rum and vanilla.

La Guanabana- Bacardi 8, Cazadores, Lime, Maracuaya, guanabana, Mescal, Cinnamon, Bacardi Solera

Sangre Azul- Cazadores, Mezcal, Parfait Amour, Lime, Aguadiente mist

Greg Bryson

Greg Bryson, Bartender and Bar Manager of Coco Laurent and Hostaria Del Piccolo, put the followinh great drinks on the menu all with slang names for Moustache’s

The Lady Tickler- Bacardi 1909, Guava, Lemon, Honey, Angostura, Mint

Lip Weasel- Bacardi 1909, Jerk-Tamarind syrup, Lime

The Jerk-Tamarind syrup Greg made gave an interesting flavor that was very popular with guests, a little too spicy for me but overall a solid drink.

Captain Whiskers

Captain Whiskers-

  • Bacardi 8
  • Papaya Puree
  • Lemon
  • Pineapple

The Captain Whiskers was a deliciously tropical tasting drink and my personal favorite. It was sweet but refreshing too and I loved the flaming lime on top!

ol Man Winter

Ol’ Man Winter, Manager of Everleigh made a bold claim saying his ‘Hotel Nacional’ was the greatest…I have to say though, it was pretty bloody fantastic! Possibly my favorite drink of the night. It was sweet, balanced, strong, tropical and delicious. All words I like to associate with a Tiki drink.

World greatest Hotel Nacional-Hotel Nacional

  • Bacardi 1909
  • Apricot eau de vie
  • Lime
  • Pineapple
  • Sugar
  • Angostura

Worlds Greatest Singapore Sling- Bombay Sapphire, PX Sherry, Cherry Heering, Benedictine, Lime, Pineapple

The Gang

Overall the night was a huge success, the live band started to play and the whole bar was packed. It was wonderful to see such a support from the bar community for a great cause.

Three really strong bartenders killing it behind the bar at one of my favorite places in the city made for an amazing night. Great job guys!

If you want to donate to Movember, visit their website http://www.movember.com to learn more about how you can contribute.happy-movember-magnet

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Drink of the Week

Coquito CirocCiroc drink

1.5oz Ciroc Coconut
1/4oz Pineapple Juice
1/2oz Coconut cream
1oz Milk
1 Egg White
1 dash Cinnamon
1 dash Nutmeg
1 dash Allspice

Combine all ingredients. Shake and strain in to a Collins Glass

Garnish: Coconut Shavings

I was totally craving a Pina Colada the other day (no doubt missing Hawaii) when I recieved an email from Ciroc telling me about their signature holiday drinks.  As most of my readers know, I try not to advertise particular brands on this site (unless I think they are necessary for the drink) and I RARELY pick vodka as a base…however this one recipe spoke to me.

Minus the rum, it has all the makings of a Pina Colada but with all the spices and warmth of Fall.  It is creamy, refreshing and tropical but with that wonderful seasonal twist. Quite simply, this is a great Holiday drink that works particularly well for those of us stuck (oh it’s so hard! ;))in warmer climates in the holiday season eg. Australia/Los Angeles/Singapore etc… it tastes like Summer and Autumn in one! 

Ironically I don’t like Coconut shavings or cinnamon, yet I love coconut flavored drinks. This one calls for the shavings on top and the cinnamon is subtle enough so as not to overpower the drink.  If you are totally against flavored vodkas (I totally understand!) you can always substitute the Ciroc Coconut for Rum, Gin, Malibu or just plain vodka. It’s quite a versatile little drink. At the end of the day, the coconut cream and pineapple kind of mask the base spirit. Seeing as this recipe was created by Cicoc, I felt it only fair to write it as they intended but as you know, switching it up is always an option. :)

If you want to try something a little different this Winter, I say give this recipe a go.

Enjoy!

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Guest Blog

Hello Fussy Followers!

I have a couple of pieces I am working on for the Fussy One (taking a while to get together) and I will be posting soon, have no fear! In the mean time, I wanted to let you know I was asked to do a guest spot on someone else’s blog this week!

I received an email from Aryn, creator of giraffes+garlic+glamour website (great name) when I was sick in bed with flu and it made me so happy to hear from a fellow blogger and reader of my site.  She asked me to do a guest spot on her blog, which honestly is the most flattering thing a fellow blogger can ask, in my opinion. Her site is a really interesting read too, so I think a lot of you would enjoy it.

Please click HERE to see the piece I wrote for her, and see what she has to say about The Fussy One. :)

As i’m sure you have noticed, I haven’t been blogging much recently. Life gets in the way of writing sometimes and before you know it another week has gone by and nothing is ready.  I am so grateful for all my readers, and especially appreciative of a number of you who have written me private messages recently telling me how much you enjoy my site. I have fan mail! Yay!

Anyway, keep reading and making cocktails. I promise lots of posts will be coming soon…

The Fussy One xxx

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