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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

Falls GoldFalls Gold

  • 2oz Rye Whisky (Templeton Rye)
  • 1/2oz Amaro Meletti
  • 1/2oz Organic Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 3/4oz Lemon juice
  • 1 Egg white

Shake once without ice, then shake with ice and strain in to a glass.

Garnish: Sprinkle of pumpkin spice (available at Whole Foods)

I can’t believe it, but it’s already that time again. ‘Fall’, ‘Autumn’, ‘The Golden Season’..whatever you want to call it, it’s here! It’s not so visually obvious in Los Angeles of course, seeing as we really don’t get a seasonal change with the leaves here, but at the end of October there is a definite change in the air.  Girls start wearing boots and scarves, snuggling by the fire sounds like fun and everywhere starts to smell like pumpkin spice and cinnamon!

This drink of the week is one of my new favorites, because it’s got that ‘Whisky sour vibe’ with a suitable Autumnal twist. The Pumpkin spice and maple syrup give it just the right feeling for the season, without being over bearing.  I have to say, I am the brilliant mind who came up with the name for this drink haha but the drink honestly tastes amazing too. The Amaro gives a hint of saffron that balances out the sweet and the egg white gives the fluffy texture I always enjoy in sours.

It is currently on the drink list at both locations for Hostaria Del Piccolo and was created by their beverage director Greg Bryson.

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Amuse me with your drink names!

A guy walks into a bar with jumper cables. The bartender says, “You can come in, but don’t start anything!”

This week ‘The Fussy One’ (i.e me), has been all over Los Angeles and at more tastings, restaurants and bars than ever before.  I have so much to write about and catch up on, but looking out at the glorious sunshine here today I have decided I am going to start my real reviewing tomorrow and instead put up something ‘light and fun’ for the week-end.

Please note: This is a list of drinks that have a humor factor (name or story) I felt compelled to mention.  I pride myself on my research in to drink origins usually, but many of the drinks in this post are told from ‘a friend of a friend’ and so the original creators are much harder for me to track down.  There are many ‘amusing drink names’ out there but i’m not here to talk about the obvious ‘Screaming Orgasm’ or ‘Slippery Nipple’ shots, although these are sadly drinks that are ordered daily at many bars across America! The drinks in this post don’t contain ‘Peach Schnapps’ or ‘Apple Pucker’, they are more of the ‘Mixologists answer’ to pre fabricated spirits and artificial flavored silly named drinks!

First off I should say how the idea of ‘silly drink names and stories’ began.  On Thursday night I ended up at Sadie in Hollywood (food review coming soon) when my always funny friend behind the bar asked;

“Would you like Ryan Gosling in your mouth?” l responded with “Excuse me? Would I like who in my mouth?!” with a cheeky smile he replied “Would you like a drink consisting of ‘Rye’ and ‘Goslings’? What did you think I meant?”

Everyone at the bar laughed. Needless to say, i’d never heard of that drink and thought it was very funny and clever. Thus began my research in to other ‘amusing drink names’ of its nature.

Rye ‘N Gosling

  • 1oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1oz Goslings Bermuda Rum

Served neat.

.

Actually not a bad combination, but pretty strong and not for someone who likes sweet mixed shots like myself.  I have to admit I do have a very sweet tooth and sadly do like some of the drinks out there with artificial flavorings.  I would never dream of ordering them at a mixology bar though, it is a complete insult to the barman’s skill and knowledge to do that.  At a dive however, I see nothing wrong with the odd ‘Washington Apple’. My boyfriend cringes at the thought but those kind of drinks aren’t for sipping leisurely on whilst enjoying the ambience. In general these are shots taken quickly in a dirty dive bar to get drunk quickly and get the hell out!.

Maguey after Amaro

  • 1 1/2oz Calle 23 Repasado
  • 3/4oz Romazotti
  • 3/4oz Fresh Lime juice
  • 1/2oz Agave nectar
  • 1 Egg White

Shake hard with one big ice cube. Serve in a tumbler.

Garnish: 3 Dashes of Miracle Mile ‘Forbidden Bitters’ on top

Bar man FutureGreg of Sadie and Bar Chloe in Santa Monica came up with this one (name came from the help of Dave Fernie of Harvard & Stone) when we were talking about drink puns and I thought it was pretty smart too.  Sounds like the ‘Day after Tomorrow’ when said quickly and is an accurate description of the drink ingredients.  Agave Americana is commonly known as maguey, or American aloe and is a plant found in Mexico used in the process of creating Tequila (they use blue Agave for Tequila). Romazotti is an Amaro.

Statutory Grape (Basically a red grape Gin collins)

  • 4 Grapes
  • 2oz Gin
  • 1oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4oz Simple Syrup
  • Fill with soda water

Shake and Strain. Then fill with soda water. Serve in collins glass

Garnish: Grapes

This drink name, i’m told, was created by bartender Dave Fernie from Harvard and Stone (he apparently has several great names like this up his sleeve) however I wasn’t able to get a hold of him in time for this post and am not 100% certain of the accuracy of the drink itself.  What I have put up is basically a red grape Collins.  ‘The Collins’ is a drink dating back to Jerry Thomas and was first memorialized in writing in 1876 in his book “The Bon Vivant’s Companion and How to mix drinks’.  This “gin and sparkling lemonade” drink was typically served in a Collins Glass over ice. It is really refreshing and a great one for summer!

Finally, I am going to end with a drink I hope NOONE ever orders.  It is a story that just made me smile so made it to the list.  I have a friend who works in a bar in Manhattan Beach, I asked him of any ‘funny drinks’ he’d heard of recently and proceeded to tell me this story:

“One of my bartender buddies in New York had a customer come in and order “A Lindsay Lohan on the rocks”. Being a mixology bar he said “I’m sorry sir, we only make classic cocktails and pre-prohibition style drinks with fresh fruits here, besides I have never heard of that drink anyway”.  The customer turned to his friends and said “They can’t make that here” Out of curiosity the bartender said, “I’m sure I can make you something better but humor me, what’s in a Lindsay Lohan?” The customer smiled and responded, “Well, it’s a red headed slut with a splash of coke”.”

Needless to say, the bartender didn’t make it for him but thought it was pretty funny all the same and so did I. For those who don’t know, a ‘red headed slut’ is a nasty drink with jaegermeister in, the addition of coca cola is purely for the joke of the drink i’m sure.

Lindsay Lohan

  • 1 1/2oz Jaegermeister
  • 1 1/2oz Peach Schnapps
  • Fill with Cranberry juice
  • Splash of coke

Pour over ice, stir, and serve.

Garnish: Cherry

No joke, this has to be the most disgusting drink ever created.  I have not, and hopefully will never, try this. I urge you to heed my warning! I really dislike Jaegermeister (has a licorice flavor) but with coke and cranberry together? Yuck! This drink is on my site for the story behind it and NOT for it’s drink quality!!!

Anyway hope this made you smile! Go enjoy the sunshine if you’re in LA today 🙂

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