Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Picky Eater and His Breakfast of Champions

PLEASE NOTE: This is a sponsored post.  I wrote this post while participating in the got milk? FUTP60/Breakfast Blitz Promotion.  Some data points were provided to me, as was some compensation.
However, the thoughts about milk and getting my kid to drink it are strictly and 100% my own. 

Also, in regards to the sweepstakes portion of the FUTP60/Breakfast Blitz Promotion, there is no purchase necessary to enter.  Full rules:
My kid is a very picky eater.  He gets it from my wife, who was a hugely picky eater as a kid.  She's now a foodie (and still pretty particular about what she eats) but she has a pretty broad palette over all.

The boy, on the other hand,  has a very limited palate, and will turn his nose up at most new foods, and even some of the old foods that he used to love.  (He ate all kinds of things until he was 18 months, after which he stopped most of them cold turkey.)

And the food has to be exactly the right thing.  He can tell the difference (or so he thinks) by looking at a Kelloggs' blueberry breakfast bar and a Trader Joe's blueberry breakfast bar (and of course, he prefers the Trader Joe's variety).  They look very similar to me, but to him one is delicious and one is repugnant.

(And I've done the taste test - they are identical!)

He does have a limited palette, but he does have a palette, and he will eat the foods that he likes with a strange sort of gusto, and he is SLOWLY expanding his tastebuds.  (Chicken Katsu is a favorite at the Japanese restaurant, and I just got him interested in Beef Sate at the Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant.)  It's hard work introducing new foods to him, as he's so definite in his distaste of something.

A glass of milk Fran├žais : Un verre de lait
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At home he is a huge fan of black beans, and of course most forms of chicken nuggets. (Strangely, he prefers most of all the Morningstar Farms Chik'n Nuggets, which are vegetarian and soy. Since he goes to a school that requires a kosher lunch, that works out perfectly!)

One of our concerns is that he's not getting enough protein, especially in the morning. Nutritionists are always saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we want to make sure that he has a good one, to start the day off right.  He won't eat eggs, or bacon, or ham.  He doesn't like cheese. He will, however, drink chocolate milk. And since a glass of milk has more protein than an egg, we want to encourage him to drink milk anyway he can. (According to the Dairy Board, An 8 oz. glass of milk contains nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein. Protein in the morning can help keep you full, so you don’t feel hungry by mid-morning.)

Copyright 2012 Adam Gertsacov
used by permission
One thing we've been doing to increase his regular milk intake is cutting his chocolate milk with regular milk, so that his chocolate milk is actually about 2/3 white milk (2%) and the rest chocolate milk.  And he will have regular milk in his cereal (thank goodness!).

We are working on it, and before long he will be wearing an ACTUAL white milk moustache, not just this one that I got as a fun gift for him at the Got Milk Table of the Dad 2.0 summit.

While I was at Dad 2, I found out about two great campaigns that Got Milk and their partners are running. I encourage you to check them out.

The “got milk?” Campaign and Fuel Up to Play 60 Breakfast Blitz program is helping to provide $250,000 in grants to local schools across the country to help give kids greater access to a healthy breakfast. Now through Feb. 17, when you buy milk and enter the UPC code online, you can vote to have a portion go to a local school and enter yourself into a sweepstakes that might end up with you winning tickets to next year's Superbowl! (Which will be in the Meadowlands in New Jersey, by the way, so you are going to want to wear warm clothes!)

You don't HAVE to buy anything to enter. The sweepstakes ends February 17. Full rules and entry capabilities at

In conjunction with the NFL, the National Dairy Council and the USDA have created a great in-school program designed to show students how to eat right and stay active. Choosing healthy foods and leading an active lifestyle gives families the energy to do the things we love. The program empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday changes at school. They give cool prizes (often NFL related) and educate kids on nutrition. By getting kids to make healthy food selections and to be active for 60 minutes a day, they are teaching kids better nutrition habits. The program also provides $1,000 breakfast grants to schools, and is part of the big Breakfast Blitz program listed above. Find out more at

I'm excited to be part of these programs and working with the National Dairy Council and their partners. And hey - if you have any ideas on how to get my kid to be a less picky eater, I'm all ears. Hit me in the comments.

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