Food, pain-in-the-ass foooooood

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that food and I enjoy a close, fulfilling relationship. Other than that whole gluten thing, food has generally been good to me (maybe a little TOO good to my thighs, but it means well) and I love to eat. I eat just about everything. Food good! Food delicious! I very much like food!

(I’m not sure how or why I turned into a bizarre cross between Cookie Monster and the Hulk just then. Forgive me.)

Having a kid who has a complicated relationship with food has been one of those things where my internal How To Handle It computer simply returns a “COPING METHOD NOT FOUND,” 404 Error style. Because it’s FOOD. And food is DELICIOUS. Also COMFORTING and did I mention DELICIOUS and also what do you MEAN you’re not hungry? I am not innately programmed to deal with this. I don’t know if anyone is. You can like food, love to cook food, like to bake, enjoy feeding your family, and BAM! Here comes life, and its various fangs and claws, and hey, howzabout you figure out how to get this kid to gain 15 pounds like, right now?

Life is kind of a demanding asshole.

All is this is preface to explaining why I ended up covered in hemp powder in my kitchen last night, trying to finish baking a batch of high-protein muffins before Otto got home and we needed to sit down for dinner (during which I would be biting my tongue and trying not to utter any of the verboten phrases like “but you need to eat more” or “what else are you going to have”). But I’m getting ahead of things.

We’re seeing a new nutritionist. She’s lovely. [Sidebar: She's not covered on our insurance, of course, because why would your MEDICAL insurance cover a nutritionist for a starving child? YOU SO CRAZY! It's almost like you expect that incredibly expensive health insurance to actually, I don't know, cover health issues, or something. WEIRD.] She has a very calm and friendly way about her, so Chickadee seems to like her, which is good. She is not bombastic at all, and works with a lot of teen girls, so she gets it.

I am forever posing questions to the nutritionist like, “Okay, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO when she refuses anything nutritive but wants cookies? Do we say yes to cookies because at least it’s SOMETHING or do we say no to cookies until other foods are consumed? What’s the right balance? WOULD YOU LIKE TO BORROW HER UNTIL SHE’S GAINED THOSE 15 POUNDS SO I DON’T HAVE TO KEEP BEING THE BITCH HERE?” (I have never asked that last one. Though not for lack of desire, I assure you.)

And then the nutritionist makes Thinking Eyebrows and says things like “It’s a delicate balancing act” and “we’re still figuring out what works best” and then I give her all my money and my kid gains no weight and I’m a little bitter, frankly. Ahem.

I’m kidding! Well, no, I’m not kidding. It’s all true. But it’s fine. Because of the delicate balancing act and the figuring out and hey, at least she’s not losing weight anymore! Yay for that!

So here I am, someone who has worked her way around to an appreciation of cooking and baking and fresh foods and blah blah blah whatever, apparently none of those yummy foods we love are going to put weight on the way they should. Chickie doesn’t eat meat, and has never actually agreed to just sit down and eat a stick of butter despite my threats of making her do it, so high-cal, high-protein foods are hard to work into her normal (limited) repertoire. Yes, she eats beans. Lots and lots and lots of beans. I am single-handedly keeping American lentil farmers in business. But the other things she favors are either good for her but too low in calories (like fresh snap peas, nom nom, practically all water) or terrible for her but calorie-laden (Oreos are not a food group, child).

The strategy at this point seems to be to come up with as many junk-food-looking actually-kinda-good-for-you foods as possible. I don’t know if you know this, but all of those foods cost a fortune and are also sort of scary. (Warning: I shall now link to said foods on Amazon because I feel like if you want to explore this world of bizarre nutrition, yourself, why not?)

My non-breakfast-eater is now grudgingly having a Quest Bar for breakfast every morning. It’s basically a candy bar, y’know, except that it has 20 grams of protein and a bunch of other nutrients and fiber and whatnot. I am pretty sure the nutritionist struck some sort of deal with my child about how she would “cut her some slack” with the rest of her diet if she knew she was eating one of these each day, so that’s how that went down. Alternatively, she’s also trying the Good Greens bars, which have slightly less protein but are still basically mega-healthy antioxidant blahbitty blah GOOD STUFF packed into bar form.

We were also advised to try the Post Great Grains Protein Blends cereals, though that didn’t go as well. My darling daughter poured herself a giant bowlful, drowned it in milk, then took one bite and proclaimed it “weird tasting” and unacceptable. Due to an unfortunate mix of circumstances which is one part scared shitless my child is going to require hospitalization again and one part cheapskate indignation over the amount of food being thrown in the trash courtesy of said child, I reacted in the most unhelpful way possible, which was just short of a full-out tantrum. Yeah. Not my proudest moment, frankly. In fact, Chickie ended up suggesting that I take a time-out to collect myself. Yay, her! Too bad her mom is such a petulant baby, though.

When it comes to packing lunches, well, it turns out that there are chips that are delicious but actually have real nutrients in them; they’re called Eat Your Vegetables and that makes me laugh. That’s a good thing, because, as a bonus, they cost three times as much as regular potato chips!

I never buy regular potato chips. But I buy these chips, now. YAY CALORIES. I also, apparently, buy JUICE now. And you know what’s better than almonds? Almonds covered in sugar! Yayyyyyy!

You understand that—under the nutritionist’s guidance—I will buy whatever foods are going to safely help my kid get the fuel she needs and gain some weight. But I think the nutritionist could tell that I’m uncomfortable with all of the prepackaged stuff (plus Chickie kept saying things like “NEED MORE COOKIES, PLEASE!”), so she started talking about ways to add protein to baked goods.

That’s how I ended up with the hemp powder. See, I wanted whey protein powder—that’s what I buy for smoothies—but I couldn’t find any that wasn’t flavored. So I bought the hemp. And it wasn’t until I got home and set about baking that I discovered that (duh) the hemp powder is green. Like, REALLY green.

Pumpkin it would have to be. Nice and dark! The resultant muffins are only slightly moldy looking. Kidding! They look like pumpkin muffins. No, really. See?

(Whoa, that pic came out kind of huge. Sorry ’bout that.)

I love to bake, so it was no biggie, except I had to find a couple of recipes and kind of Frankenstein them together, plus I kept looking up conversions for substituting in various ingredients, because—GO FIGURE!—there wasn’t a recipe out there I could find for Pumpkin Oatmeal Chia Hemp Almond Meal Chocolate Chip muffins already. Does that name make you gag a little? It probably should. But the muffins just taste like… muffins. And have around 10g of protein apiece. So hey. MORE HEMP POWDER.

I don’t know what my point was here, other than that I now buy lots of food which I believe may not actually be food. And also that the nutritionist is probably sitting around with her friends laughing her fool head off, gasping between giggles, “And then, THEN I told her that she could bake with HEMP!” And I’m the sucker who did it because she said so.

But tomorrow for breakfast I am giving Chickie a stick of butter. Just because in rereading all of this, that no longer seems that outlandish, and butter seems cheap.

126 Responses to “Food, pain-in-the-ass foooooood”

  1. 1
    Kim May 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    I’d eat those. Just sayin’.

  2. 2
    Kim May 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    And also, because i hit the submit button too soon, you are an awesome mom, Mir. And I totally get the fear/annoyance interaction which causes the BOOM!

  3. 3
    Jacqueline May 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I got my sister to basically eat half a stick of butter in one sitting with Smitten Kitchen’s Caramelized Onion & Butternut squash galette recipe (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/10/butternut-squash-and-caramelized-onion-galette/), worth a try, right? Unfortunately it’s all full of gluten, but it is highly delicious!

  4. 4
    HG May 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Hmmmm…. would it be helpful or ass-vice to ask you to list what she does like to eat and see how many calorie-laden, real-food option we can find in our recipe holdings?

    • 4.1
      Mir May 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      I’d welcome suggestions, though giving you parameters is hard because part of the problem is that it’s never really clear what she’s willing to eat. She loves cheese, eggs and beans (er, not together, just saying as protein sources) and there’s one risotto recipe I do that she loves (maybe more risotto recipes?). She’s a vegetarian who doesn’t really like tofu, or many vegetables, and basically anything that reads/tastes like dessert but is actually healthy would be a welcome idea.

      (And you are darling to be concerned. You’re my favorite. Fire away!)

      • HG May 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

        Do you think she’d do bread pudding, both sweet and savory?

        Also, if cookies are her weakness, I have a great oatmeal cookie recipe that uses a lot of butter and can be tailored down for sugar that I let my kids eat for breakfast.

        Does she do oatmeal as a food in and of itself? Refrigerator oatmeal (old fashioned oats, milk, and yogurt, overnight in fridge) makes a creamy lovely breakfast that could be pumped up with whole milk and whole milk yogurt.

        Or, you know, threaten her with ovaltine in addition to the butter ;)

        • Mir May 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

          She won’t eat oatmeal anymore (lots of food aversions these days) but I will take that cookie recipe. Email me?

          • HG May 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

            One other thing that occurred to me – how about soups? I have a Senegalese Peanut Chicken Soup that has a PB and Coconut base that must have calories (especially if you full calorie the coconut milk). It’s full of veggies and you could skip the chicken.

        • HG May 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

          (I don’t remember if she is gluten free or not)

          • HG May 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

            Will do.

          • Mir May 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

            (The threaded commenting is officially making me crazy. I can’t respond to what you said above. So here I am!) Not gluten-free. Soups are tricky as to whether she’ll eat them or not, and she can’t/won’t eat peanuts. That sound sounds delicious, though.

        • Nance May 11, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

          Can you post the cookie recipe? Z will eat cookies, even oatmeal, and I could probably hide some protein powder in them somehow.

      • Kira May 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

        She likes EGGS? WE HAVE EGGS! You guys should COME HERE!

  5. 5
    Nelson's Mama May 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I’m thinking you’re just a hair off-base with the hemp muffins ;) Pot brownies, the munchies and that girl is golden!

    • 5.1
      CuriousCat May 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      what I was thinking. ;-)

    • 5.2
      Mame May 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      That was exactly where I went with the hemp. Any chance that hemp muffins gives your the munchies?

  6. 6
    diane May 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    If you hadn’t mentioned the color, I wouldn’t have noticed the greenish cast to the muffins. There must be recipes for sugar coating almonds at home – that price is insane. Eeek. Here’s hoping Chickadee develops an appetite, and the pounds fly on.

    (I will certainly never, ever type or speak those last four words in reference to me)

  7. 7
    Sar May 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    I am sure that you are already getting excellent suggestions from your nutritionist, but as someone who had to “trick” myself into taking in calories while pregnant, there is a lot that you can hide in a smoothie. Chocolate or vanilla protein powder + avocado or coconut or nut butter + banana or strawberries + spinach + ice. Put it all in the blender the night before (except the ice), so you don’t have to think about foodstuffs in the morning. Blend and place in a dark sippy bottle for consumption.

    Sometimes, you just need to treat yourself (or teen daughter) like a toddler. And that is okay.

    • 7.1
      Mir May 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

      She no longer tolerates smoothies (my secret weapon for a long time). Sigh.

      • Nichole May 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

        Are milkshakes lumped in with smoothies? My sister-in-law gave my underweight nephew a milkshake made with Carnation instant breakfast every day until he put on some pounds.

        • LMN May 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

          When I was around 12, I was on doctor’s orders to gain weight (no disordered eating, thank goodness, but I was a tiny picky eater). I, too, didn’t eat breakfast, and I hated the taste of the Carnation instant breakfast drinks. Instead, the doctor okayed a vanilla milkshake every morning–my mom would add banana, too. Yum. Sixteen years later I still don’t like eating breakfast, but I have a latte with whole milk every morning for some calories–or if she likes tea, try a chai latte.

  8. 8
    Katherine May 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    I feel your pain. I had the same issue, but with an 18 month old. No reasoning there. The nutritionist suggested heavy cream and coconut cream (I think that was what it was called – high cal, like 50 cal/ tablespoon). I mostly used the whipping cream . i would add some to smoothies or Mac and cheese or scrambled eggs. Pretty much everywhere I could. Unfortunately, it still didn’t do the trick and we ended up with an ng-tube for night time tube feeding of Pediasure for several months. I hope you and Chickee can come up with tasty, nutritive, high calorie options.

  9. 9
    Brandi May 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I have an unhealthy relationship with food. There are weeks when the majority of my calories come from Pepsi (yes, not healthy, I know.)

    I get where Chickadee is coming from. Some days I don’t eat (on accident) until my husband asks what I’ve eaten. And when I reply ‘Oh a banana.. maybe a bowl of cereal with milk..? um.. some hummus’ he demands I eat and waits until I’ve done and then tries to get me to eat more.

    To be clear, I haven’t an eating disorder. I just have a displeasure of eating. I honestly can’t tell when I’m hungry and generally am uninterested.

    I get it. I’m sure it’s tough for you. It’s tough for my husband. I’m only now an okay weight. But I’m still only just out of ‘underweight’ and that’s only because I discovered I like cheese..

  10. 10
    Juli Ward May 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Your impression of the nutritionist possibly making fun of you made me laugh so hard!

  11. 11
    Nelson's Mama May 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    My five year old niece is underweight and like Katherine, they have them add heavy cream to Carnation Instant Breakfast for a morning shake (an even ice cream if she asks) to add extra calories to her diet.

  12. 12
    kakaty May 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    those Good Greens bars are made in my town and are actually quite good. They go on sale for $1 a my local grocery store and I stock way up on them. My (little) kids love them and often eat them for breakfast. If Chickie likes them or wants to try different flavors, let me know and the next time there is a sale I can hook you up.

  13. 13
    Jamie May 9, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I’m a definite meat lover, but from a protein-alternative standpoint, I love the Barilla Plus pastas. Maybe you can fill her with farfalle!

    http://www.barilla.com/aggregator/product/1301

  14. 14
    Frank May 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Am I the ONLY person who saw Hemp Muffins and thought Hash Brownies… and giggled a LOT? And then had the munchies?… Me only, huh? OK…. Nevermind….

    • 14.1
      Mir May 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      I should start a fund where I put in a dollar every time someone suggests that pot brownies will sold this problem completely. Then I’ll have enough money to buy the pot!

      • Kira May 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

        You want to buy pot? WE LIVE IN COLORADO! YOU SHOULD COME HERE!

        • CuriousCat May 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

          Clearly, this is your answer!

          Kira has eggs and pot (or, more likely to be accurate: Kira has eggs and pot is AVAILABLE where she is)! Protein AND the munchies! I’m pretty sure the pot is cheaper than all the $$$ you’re forking out for those “nutritionist” approved foods.

          Also, I’ve drank a Carnation (or Kroger) Instant breakfast pretty much every day of my life since I was 8 or 9. I was one of those kids who could not eat in the morning and my mother refused to send me to school without SOMETHING in my belly. I am now 50, so you know, it won’t kill her, is what I’m saying.

          • Jessica (the celt) May 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

            @CuriousCat I’m the same way (can’t eat anything in the morning or it makes me physically ill), but I can down some Carnation Instant Breakfast much sooner than I can physical food. (If only my mom had figured that out when I was a kid. She forced me to eat and only stopped when the doctor finally told her when I was a teenager that my being ill every morning was much worse for my health than my not eating breakfast.)

            I have a lot of food texture issues, I don’t really know why, but see the above about my mom and the food stuffs that she thought I should eat when I didn’t really want to: that is one of my own guesses. In fact, one of my favorite foods today is one that she hated and never forced me to eat: raw spinach. Pretty much anything I was forced to eat as a kid makes me feel a bit nauseated when I think about eating it. Ick.

            This is probably much more information than anyone wanted…sorry! ;~)

        • Mir May 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

          PROBLEM SOLVED. Please don’t use up all the eggs and/or pot before next month. ;)

        • Linda Sherwood May 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

          Kira, I’m sensing a pattern in your replies. A pattern that is making me smile. :)

  15. 15
    Jamie May 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Here’s a recipe to try. Chicken for the meat eaters in the house, leave it out for Chickie (the peanuts, too, I guess).

    Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad

    Salad:
    2-10 ounce bags fresh baby spinach, chopped (bunch some up, slice, repeat)
    1 bunch green onions, chopped
    6 ounces craisins
    6 ounces honey roast peanuts
    3 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
    6 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed (optional, I often make this to serve with a meal including meat, so I don’t usually put the chicken in before serving it as leftovers)
    1 pound bowtie pasta, cooked (I use the Barilla PLUS yellow box multi-grain as I think it stays firmer in the dressing)
    1 large package strawberries, sliced
    2/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (not the green can)

    Dressing:
    1 cup oil
    2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
    2/3 cup rice vinegar (such as Nakano Original, in the Asian section of the grocery store)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    Mix dressing ingredients together. Mix all of the salad ingredients together except for the fruit – if the salad is going to sit a while before serving, wait to add the oranges as they can wilt the spinach some. If serving immediately, mix fruit in, too. Add dressing to taste (you may not need it all, save the rest for refreshing leftovers). Enjoy!

  16. 16
    RuthWells May 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    I was going to suggest peanut butter cookies, until I saw that she’s not eating peanuts.

    Michael made some kick-ass fritters last night, so I’m thinking about fritters. Fried=irresistable, right? And you can fritter just about anything. (He used parsnips and leeks, NOM NOM.)

    Will keep thinking….

  17. 17
    Chuck May 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Mmmmm….butter. (Not eating enough has never been a problem for me – the opposite, in fact – so I have no good advice to give here. But good luck, sounds like you’re kicking butt to me.)

  18. 18
    Bridget May 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Does she perhaps like cream cheese, as in cheese cake? Very calorie dense, tastes great without a crust or even better with a nut based crust, and if you use some of the more healthy sweeteners, not terribly bad. Also can be made in several flavors and tastes good with various fruits.

  19. 19
    bonuela May 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    i am an overweight adult who believes that all of my problems would end if i could only tolerate veggies. (blecccch) i have even looked into those “trick your kids by adding broccoli to cookies” books for myself! i know tricking won’t work since trust and control issues are on the table (get it, table) but maybe chickie would be willing to check them out and see if anything appeals to her?

    also, an old weight watcher’s standby might help too, wait, wait, it makes sense, trust me…. you can add pureed black beans to any chocolate cake or brownie recipe for in place of the oil and eggs to pump up the protein and lower the bad fats.

  20. 20
    Becky May 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Broccoli Cornbread:

    2 boxes Jiffy Cornmuffin mix
    1 small onion, chopped well
    3/4 bag frozed broccoli, thawed OR fresh broccoli (same amount), chopped well
    16 oz small curd cottage cheese
    4 eggs
    2 sticks of butter

    Preheat oven to 350, place butter in 9×13 dish and let melt during pre-heat
    Mix all other ingrediants together in large bowl, mix well but don’t OVER mix
    After butter is melted, mix in
    Batter will be lumpy
    Spread evenly back in dish
    Bake for about an hour, or until insterted knife comes out clean (will be brown on top)

    Comes out somewhat sweet and cake-like, REALLY good with beans/chili/as a side dish
    Some friends have added corn, jalapeno (sp) juice, spinich… play with the receipe

    Enjoy (and good luck!)

    • 20.1
      12tequilas May 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      Great idea except not Jiffy mix. That has lard in it…not so good for vegetarians.

  21. 21
    Karyn May 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    There is a “no bake energy bites” recipe out there on pinterest that is really yummy and has flax seed in it.
    Also, does she like icecream and peanut butter? Because a girl i work with easily gained 10 lbs by having peanut butter milkshakes everyday :)

  22. 22
    AmandaXC May 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Does she like Larabars or other energy bars? I have a lot of great recipes for homemade bars that are high in nutrients and calories, that don’t have crap in them. The larabar knock off recipe is especially yummy, simple to make, and contains nuts but they are ground to a consistency that is suitable for those (like me) who take issue with the texture. Email me if you’d like some recipes.

  23. 23
    Deb May 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Take the muffins, slice them in layers, fry them in butter, top them with syrup. Mmmmmmmmm.

    • 23.1
      Holly May 13, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Deb, you are my kinda person!!

  24. 24
    Lucinda May 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Have you looked at baking with almond flour or coconut flour? If she doesn’t have an aversion to almonds (my picky eater doesn’t like them), you could make high-protein sweets with good fats in them that would probably put on weight. Elana’s pantry is a great source for recipes. When I was losing weight, going paleo and indulging my sweet tooth with almond flour did cause weight gain. Those flours are expensive but you could buy a small bag of almond flour for starters just to try it out. Just a thought. Good luck. (I should also mention I’m an incredibly picky eater but find almond flour and coconut flour pretty tolerable). Oh, and homemade coconut milk ice cream would also have more fat and protein than standard ice-cream without breaking the bank.

    • 24.1
      Lucinda May 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      I should clarify, I was losing weight due to illness. I wanted to gain weight so Paleo worked well for me in the sweets category.

    • 24.2
      Jenn May 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      I second the Elena’s pantry recommendation. I haven’t made anything bad from her site. And i could eat an entire batch of her chocolate chip cookies. But the almond flour she recommends does not come in a small bag, and it really truly works best in her recipes. So just bite the bullet and buy it. Find a gf or paleo buddy and share a bag. The recipes really won’t work with bobs red mill almond flour.

  25. 25
    Nancy R May 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    The Pioneer Woman has a recipe for Chocolate- Covered Chewy Granola Bars that I’ve been making (without the chocolate) for my peanut-allergic girl because peanut-free chewy granola bars are hard to find. I add a chia/flax combo mix to it…and sub a little maple syrup for the molasses (the molasses really comes through). I’ll see if I can find the link – they don’t last long, and the crumbs are great mixed in yogurt so they’d probably be awesome on ice cream too.

    It’s here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/09/granola-bars/

  26. 26
    Issa May 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    I was going to suggest smoothies…but then I saw your comment that she’s given them up. How about milkshakes? I know it’s sugar, but you could do them with frozen Greek yogurt and fruits and then maybe some veggie juice? Ben & Jerry’s makes some with chocolate Greek yogurt. Maybe with honey and say almond butter and banana she’d like it ?

    Smoothies are my saving grace with my kids, because I sneak shit into it and as long as it tastes like strawberries, they’re cool. I have very wee, not quite on the weight chart girls…and a son who is seemingly trying to eat me out of house and home before he turns five. Organic carrot juice FTW! I also add cream to their pasta. Pesto pasta is a favorite and I won’t eat it with cream, but hey my kids will. heh. Or buttered noodles with a little cream thrown in. I realize this is no where close to the same issues. I have a friend who adds whipping cream to her daughters milk….but that just grosses me out. Then again, we all do what we have to do.

    What about almond butter cookies? I know you’re probably trying to avoid tons of sugar, but if she doesn’t like peanuts that may work. Oatmeal apple cinnamon muffins? My friend Emily used to put about everything into muffins for her son. I wish she still had her blog because she is brilliant. She’d pulverize zucchini into a pulp and add it into apple or pumpkin muffins.

    Let me think…Oh Luna makes protein bars. They have this one, it’s called cookie dough (yes, I know) but they have 12 grams of protein and my kids love them.

    I realize I’m not saying anything you haven’t probably already tried. I fully get that this is a much bigger issue than her just being underweight. In my head I think, give her all the cookies she wants. Get her hooked on Starbucks Frappachinos! (Snort. Spell check would like me to change that to Appalachians.) But in reality, I know that sugar isn’t really the best way. I do wish you much luck though. I guess I’m saying, keep trying. You guys will find your way. This I fully believe.

  27. 27
    Karen R May 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Even better than sugared almonds are cocoa almonds. Lots of recipes on the web, just skip the ones that use artificial sweeteners. Or go for the full-out-chocolate almonds.

    Good luck! You are a fine example of grace under pressure.

  28. 28
    Julie May 9, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    Have you tried couscous porraige? I got it from a vegetarian cookbook in the library. Single serving: 1/4c couscous cooked in 1c rice milk until done and flavored with raisins, cinnamon, and a squirt of honey. It tastes like a delicious creamy couscous pudding thing! I can definitely be dressed up to suit whatever flavored she likes jut like oatmeal.

    Also, have Chickadee help plan/cook meals over the summer. Get a couple vegetarian cookbooks from the library and tell her she’s responsible for X amount of meals this week and they have to have an average of X amount of protein/carbs/what have you. If she hates it, it’s not your fault because she picked it.

    • 28.1
      Mame May 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      May I second the suggestion of having Chickadee help plan/cook meals over the summer. It seems in keeping with being responsible for her school work. I understand not completing her school work is not life threatening, so not the same thing, but in the same vein. If Monkey did it too, Chickadee wouldn’t have to feel singled out and or pressured. My kids use to have some meal planning/cooking responsibilities over the summer in part because I got tired of doing it all myself. They’re all good cooks now.

  29. 29
    Brenda May 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    My name is Brenda, and I’m in a complicated relationship with food. The only fruit I can tolerate taste/texture-wise is bananas, but they have a tendency to make me feel ill. I can tolerate a few veggies, but I really don’t enjoy them and tire of them quickly. I can go months without eating a single vegetable. I often feel like my life would be SO much easier if I just liked salad, or something. I’m also sensitive about textures, which is why even though I adore orange juice I can’t eat oranges. I actually dread going out to eat with some friends because they eat like normal people and like to try funky cafes where I don’t like any of the food. I really admire how hard you’re working to figure out something that works. It might seem dumb to say, because you love your daughter so of course you’re doing what you can, but I struggled as a kid and got no sympathy from my mom.

    • 29.1
      Jessica (the celt) May 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

      Brenda, I completely understand. I am also the same about oranges and orange juice (and pineapples and pineapple juice or lemons and straight lemon juice: I love sour things, but not…pulpy, stringy things). I always look at a menu before visiting a restaurant for the first time and hate it when the one thing I do eat at a restaurant or cafe is taken off the menu. My main issues are also texture, although a few foods are due to taste. The sad part is that something I liked a few months ago may suddenly not taste/”feel” good anymore, and I never know why. (I wrote above about my mom and my food issues, so I won’t reiterate here, but…again…empathy for your situation.)

  30. 30
    Jennifer May 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Yeah, I was going to suggest almond flour or coconut flour, too. Coconut flour baked goods use double the eggs of regular flour, usually, because it sucks up so much moisture, so you’d get some extra protein from the eggs alone. I’ve also seen some recipes for baked goods using almond butter as a base…paleoparents.com has an almond butter waffle recipe that’s yummy. And of course, slathering anything she does eat in butter, or maybe coconut oil if she has a sweet tooth?

  31. 31
    Sian May 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    I have a vague sense you might grow your own zucchini, but either way, this risotto is delicious:

    http://markbittman.com/zucchini-risotto/

  32. 32
    jen May 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    I don’t think I have much helpful advice. I’m a foodie and I’m always on the lookout for tips to keep my kiddos open-minded about food.

    I really love this blog: http://itsnotaboutnutrition.squarespace.com/home/
    On the magic of yogurt: http://itsnotaboutnutrition.squarespace.com/home/2013/4/4/the-magic-of-plain-yogurt.html

    Have you thought about introducing her to a food challenge? Like try one new vegetable a week. Each week you would try 2-3 different dishes featuring said veggie. I remember following a blog a while back that was veggie focused, but it could work with a variety of foods.

    I also think that the more you can get her into the kitchen and cooking and creating, the more interested she’ll be in eating the food. It is easy to reject things that you have no investment in, but harder when you were the one cutting and chopping and stirring and baking.

    Of course right now my daughter plays and talks all through meal times and then when everything is cleaned up she asks for a snack. Gah.

  33. 33
    Summer May 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I can’t tolerate whey (dairy hates me) so I use soy powder, and Jarrow makes an unflavored soy protein powder that I use for various baking purposes.

    One of my favorite recent creations was double-chocolate protein pancakes, which consisted of chocolate soy protein powder, egg, water, and chocolate chips. They’re cooked just like normal pancakes, and 1 scoop of protein powder becomes 2 pancakes. They can be topped with all kinds of delicious, high-calorie things. I put cookie butter on mine. Healthy!

  34. 34
    Traci May 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    This is a good unflavored whey protein option.
    http://www.biprousa.com/
    And they have a ton of recipes on their site for cooking and baking with it. :)

  35. 35
    Joy May 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    My husband eats mostly-paleo, so I’ve found a ton of recipes (that also happen to be GF–for you!) that have plenty of protein/vegetable fats but still taste/feel like normal foods.

    Waffles: http://www.whatrunslori.com/2010/08/perfectly-paleo-almond-coconut-waffles-and-a-side-of-wod/
    Pumpkin bars: http://www.thehealthycookingcoach.com/2011/01/-paleo-pumpkin-cake-bars-with-cinnamon-icing.html
    Oatmeal raisin cookies: http://paleomama.com/?p=31
    Fruit/nut bars (like Kind bars): http://paleomama.com/?p=347
    Peach cobbler (yay Georgia!): http://paleomama.com/?p=335

  36. 36
    y2katen May 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    I’m also a picky nonmeater also who doesn’t like “vegetarian” food.
    Maybe dry roasted salted pistachios (good for sweet cravings).

    I also LOVE Natures Path http://us.naturespath.com/ products. Most is gluten free & all veggie.
    especially their Gluten Free Selections Summer Berries Granola (PCC) or Love Crunch mixed with lactose-free yogurt & extra dried strawberries & blueberries for my sugar cravings. crazy thing is the dried fruit reconstitutes a little in the yogurt so more like “real” fruit bites. Also Berry Strawberry™ Flax Plus® Granola Bars good for on the go.

  37. 37
    Katherine May 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    When my son was having issues, we also tried adding something like duocal (http://www.myduocal.com/info/index.asp) to his food. It doesn’t have the protein, but it says it is “a neutral flavor” and can be added to solids or liquids. Good luck!

  38. 38
    TC May 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    I’m not sure whether to commiserate by harkening back to when N was an infant and was “failure to thrive” and I used to saute Cheerios in butter for him and feed him LIVERWURST and search the food aisles for full-fat yogurt and stuff and nothing was working…

    OR to commiserate by talking about today when I keep being told by medical types to get Em to lose many pounds–which is, I realize, the opposite problem, but actually results in the same overall interaction, which is me always watching what’s going into her mouth and trying to make non-judgmental comments and suggestions and providing foods and alternatives that will not result in MORE rather than LESS disordered eating and yet nothing seems to be working…

    OR to just say UCH. And I KNOW. And EW, HEMP POWDER?

  39. 39
    Wendy May 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    She likes eggs, she likes cheese, and she needs calories. I know she doesn’t like to eat breakfast, but what about quiche for dinner? You can use twice the cheese (which will make it twice as delicious) and whole cream.

    Also, I don’t know whether everyone knows about this or not, but you can go to allrecipes.com and type in ingredients you want AND ingredients you don’t want. So you can search for something like cheese and eggs and bread. Then when it comes up with a million recipes for chicken parmesan, you can add, but NOT chicken. I do this quite a bit to figure out what to do with food I’m trying to get rid of before it spoils. The good thing is that she can do this herself, and maybe come up with a list of recipes she’d like you to try. That way at least she has a little bit of choice and can hopefully find some things she’s excited about. Sure, maybe they’ll all be cookies, but at least it’s a start, right? :)

  40. 40
    katspeakz May 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I’m a lacto ovo veggie and have spent most of my life underweight. My late 30s seem to be curing me of that. We eat black bean stir fry with rice and scrambled eggs usually once a week. Add some cheese to it and you’ve got egg/beans/cheese trifecta. You could also make breakfast burritos with eggs, beans and cheese. I’m including a link to a cheese cake recipe that uses protein powder that I found ages ago and still use. It isn’t quite as good as real cheesecake, but its a sweet snack wih 15g of protein. (I just use regular sugar in it)
    http://www.balance.com/blog/lifestyle/new-york-cheesecake-a-40-30-30-dessert/

  41. 42
    The Tart May 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Try throwing some Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt) into the pumpkin muffins for even more oomph. I have a recipe on my blog: http://www.thetartskitchen.com. I guess you’d have to play with it a bit to make it gluten-free, but they’re pretty good muffins. If she likes eggs, what about quiche? You can put just about anything in a quiche and have it taste good (I love making one with spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese). And you can make quiche without crust to keep it GF for yourself.

  42. 43
    Kwaters7 May 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    http://www.sosapproach-conferences.com/

    For the sensory aspect of food aversions.

  43. 44
    Sarah May 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Good luck … How about granola? Avocado And chips?

    Also, you might like “the feeding doctor” (website, or on Facebook) she writes about all sorts of disordered eating, and has a book published – mostly her philosophy seems to be about keeping power struggles and anxiety away from food.

    Hugs – and cookies?

  44. 45
    shadymama May 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    oh, man. can i just email you alla my SUPER-CALORIE LADEN, PROTEIN PACKED dessert foods of AMAZING? please?

  45. 46
    Melissa May 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    We made baked parmesan zucchini chips last night. Not exactly a full meal, but HIGHLY addictive. Sliced zucchini, dunk in egg wash, coat with half bread crumbs (or crushed corn flakes or rice crispies)/half parmesan (add whatever dried herbs you want), bake at 350 for 30-45 depending on the thickness of the slices. They would be perfect with pasta. They are so good we ate just about a full zucchini each. Oh! Just had a thought, you could also do this with eggplant.

  46. 47
    kazari May 10, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Hiya,
    I just wanted to add that skim milk powder is a pretty good nutritional approximation for the whey protein powders.
    I used to work for a pharmacist who was into body building and that was his protein powder of choice (lots cheaper, too!)

    cheers,

    k

  47. 48
    Meri May 10, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    I have trouble keeping weight on because of my meds.

    Mac and cheese might work for her and I think you can do it with butternut squash, too.
    Nuts are good, sauces and dressings and dips are good…
    I get Kind brand “energy” bars, the ingredient list is actually pretty good, but they taste like candy.

    What about pie, the ones that are more custardy? Before I had to stop eating dairy, I’d make a coconut custard pie and eat the leftovers for breakfast. It’s all milk and eggs and sugar anyway. I did the impossible pie variant with Bisquick where you mix all the ingredients together and pour it into the pie plate. Coconut floats, Bisquick sinks and you’ve got a crust.

    Smitten kitchen tomato sauce with butter is supposed to be awesome.
    Roasted kale chips are supposed to be easy to make, too.

  48. 49
    Uma May 10, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    Does her taste tend towards bland fare or the kind with pronounced flavours?
    If the latter I was wondering if she might like Indian food? Because when I think of vegetarian food and variety I think of Indian food. Specially with lentils and vegetables there are many different things you can do. But please don’t try the ready to eat stuff that’s just horrible. I was thinking of stuff like paneer butter masala (lots of proteins because of the cheese and butter too!) and the variety of lentil preparations. Indian food uses every lentil known to mankind e.g. all the dals and various ways of cooking stuff like chickpeas. I can come up with many different recipes and there are tons of indian food blogs.

    • 49.1
      Mir May 10, 2013 at 7:18 am #

      She wants bland, which is a shame, because the rest of us love spicy. I do make a couple of Indian dish approximations with toned-down spice, but she’s not really liking those lately, either.

      • Alice May 10, 2013 at 10:49 am #

        One thing we’ve been liking lately is homemade paneer butter masala, in large part because it’s one of the least labor-intensive Indian dishes we’ve found. Making paneer is really easy (heat milk, add vinegar, press for a few hours), and then we deep fry it, because it’s delicious. (texture-wise, you can skip that if she prefers softer things). You can then make the main pot of butter masala sauce bland, and have a separate ‘spicy stuff’ condensed version to amp it up for the rest of you. I only have a pdf of the recipe, but let me know if you’d like it.

      • Uma May 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

        Too bad about the preference for bland food :) But I wanted to say something else but wasn’t sure of the right way to put it. My mother and I had very similar conversations growing up. I refused to eat pretty much anything she cooked and craved sugar too. After many many years of trying to get me to eat and me wanting a diet of mashed potatoes and sweets (seriously) she gave up and let me eat what I wanted and as long as I wasn’t starving she put up with it. And after a bit of eating junk food I suddenly developed taste buds and started seeking out more nutritious food on my own. You are completely right to be concerned about nutrition but I think there is also just something weird about the teenage years. Maybe all the hormones affect your taste buds? I don’t know but this definitely sounds familiar to me and the pattern was repeated with my sister 5 years later too.15 years later we are both fine and now actually need to worry about eating too much, something my mother still finds hard to believe.

  49. 50
    Christine May 10, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    Halves of avocados with vinaigrette in them? That’s my daughter’s favorite “can I get you more fat with that fat?” snack… Can you substitute challah for all of her bread needs?

  50. 51
    akd May 10, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    A friend gave me a recipe for zucchini pancakes that is really good, probably bc of the butter. You make a regular batch of pancake mix (bisquick or from scratch) in the blender with 1 med zucchini and 1/3 cup sour cream. Fry up with lots of butter. Pancakes should be small to maximize the crispy edges. Serve with plain yogurt and jam. Yum!

  51. 52
    Genevieve May 10, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Does she like sweet potatoes at all? I’m thinking about the Thanksgiving mashed kind that’s all topped with brown sugar and streusel-y stuff, even marshmallows if she likes them, because it gets a nice vitamin-rich veggie in plus extra calories from the topping and tastes like dessert.

    If she likes regular mashed potatoes, we make this recipe with cream cheese / butter / sour cream only at Thanksgiving because they’re so high-calorie, but we all adore them:

    Makes 8 servings
    9 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
    1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    3⁄4 cup sour cream
    1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Place the diced potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer over medium heat until tender; drain. Place the potatoes in a mixer bowl. Cut the butter and cream cheese into small pieces and add to the potatoes. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the sour cream. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or reheat in a buttered casserole at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

  52. 53
    Brigitte May 10, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    I like the extra-naughty quiche idea!
    I was wondering if you could freeze the sneaky smoothies in an icecream maker to disguise them as sneaky icecream?

    My kid doesn’t like food (except junk), so she’s skinny as a rail. While me and my husband are fatties who eat everything in sight. I just don’t get her . .

  53. 54
    Robin May 10, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Beet cake. I add extra cocoa powder.

    http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Beet-Cake

    Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The carrots are chopped finely in the food processor which gives the cake a more cake-like texture than some carrot cakes. It has olive oil instead of butter.

    http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/ultimate-carrot-cake.aspx

    Coconut Secret has yummy chocolate covered bars. They are reasonably healthy and somewhat high calories but also fall into the processed and ridiculously priced category.

  54. 55
    Alicia May 10, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Google quiche muffins. Eggs, cheese, milk and veggies all on the go. They’re a staple at my house for early morning, “Quick, quick, quick! We’re LATE!” mornings which make up for just about every morning we must leave the house. My kids eat them fresh and hot, microwaved warm or refrigerator cold. I’ll toss them in a plastic baggie and throw them at as we’re dashing out the door.

    Good luck! Here’s hoping Chickie finds something to perk up her taste buds.

    • 55.1
      Alicia May 10, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      I should also have noted they’re easy to make in batches ahead of time to store in the fridge for your convenience. I always seem to be making these after the kids go to bed. It’s the only time I can cook without them “helping {to make a bigger mess}.”

  55. 56
    Valerie May 10, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Stomping my feet–OREOS are too a food group. So there.

  56. 57
    Jen May 10, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Oh god Mir, I get this. My 12 year old son won’t eat. Yes, the ADHD meds kill his appetite, and have for years, but something is wrong. His doctor won’t take it seriously, we’re thisclose to cutting off contact to my inlaws because they keep butting in about it, and in the meantime he keeps dropping on the growth chart. He’s never been very big, but I’m sick to death of people asking if my boys are twins. They’re three years apart, and the 8 year old is almost bigger.
    So. Yeah. I’m about to head down this road, but I can’t find the on-ramp, have no idea where to start, and no one to guide me. Wish there was a doctor that specializes in “there’s something wrong with my kid, he won’t eat,” but I guess that elective wasn’t offered in med school.

    • 57.1
      Julie May 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Jen, get blood work and check his thyroid! My Lil Daughter went undiagnosed for three years because they don’t normally check for thyroid issues in kids that young. She was about 12/13 when it started.. It was hell and difficult to find a dr to listen to me. They were treating her for ADD, depression, mood swings, because the hyperthyroid caused ADD like symptoms at first, then psychosis like symptoms. She was better in weeks when they diagnosed the thyroid issue from a simple blood test. Best to you and yours…

  57. 58
    Lori N May 10, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    First of all — HUG!! You are doing everything right for your child.

    While my own difficulties with food stem from a child with multiple food allergies, 2 of my nieces have been in the same place Chickadee is with needing to gain weight. Each of their moms had to approach it in a different way. One (my sister) basically had to stock up on vanilla ice cream & Ensure because those were two foods her daughter would eat happily — well, the Ensure was tolerated only because the nutritionist insisted upon it. It almost killed her mom to do it, but it worked & the daughter ended up finding healthier options as time went on. The other (my sister-in-law) was finally able to help her daughter figure out that she felt better on a GF diet & once eating no longer made her feel sick, she has managed to gain some of the needed weight.

    Viewing food as an enemy (as with an allergy) or puzzle to solve (as with weight issues or nutrition deficiencies) is a huge drain mentally. I feel for you!

  58. 59
    Cheryl May 10, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Would she like this? It’s like lasagna without the meat or noodles. You can use Isopure unflavored protein powder in it and up the protein content although it is pretty dense as is. (This is a bariatric recipe – you might also consider googling bariatric surgery vegetarian recipes and seeing what comes up.)

    8 oz of Ricotta Cheese
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan
    1 large Egg, beaten
    1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
    salt & pepper to taste
    1/2 cup Marinara Sauce
    1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese

    Mix ricotta cheese, parmesan, beaten egg, seasonings together and place in a oven proof dish. Pour marinara on top and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake it in the oven @ 450 for about 20-25 minutes (best) or nuke it till hot and bubbly. I usually made it first in the oven and heated the leftovers in the microwave.

  59. 60
    RL Julia May 10, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    As the mom of two kids who are naturally skinny, I find it’s a constant battle between their making good food choices and getting enough calories. Finding a good, nutritious bar for my son has made all the difference (between him tanking before school ends and not) he likes Luna Bars (even if the are for women) and Balance Bars – they cost more but are more nutritious than your standard granola bar… Edamame and high fat ice cream have also been popular as well as trying to get him to fruits with more calories – like bananas. At this age, I always err on the side of more calories (even if they are not such great choices). Ensure is a godsend – maybe an ensure Oreo “milkshake”?

    Hmmm – eggs cheese and beans(all beans or just lentils?) but not spicy- will she eat tortillas? I see a lot of mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and fondue in your life. What are her texture preferences? Sautéed white beans and snap peas (or must they be raw)? Baby spinach with lentils? My nephew has a lot of food aversions (as did I as a kid). I know how frustrating it can be. In the meantime, put eggs into everything! List more guidelines and I’ll send you some ideas if you want.

  60. 61
    Rachel May 10, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Oh Mir, I’m so sorry.

    I’ve now gained extra weight due to meds, but before I got pregnant with my oldest I had lost a bunch of weight due to meds & migraine. I was vegetarian at the time, and my go-to foods for gaining weight were:
    grilled cheese with avocado
    cream cheese & jelly sandwiches
    cheese tortellini with cream & goat cheese
    milkshakes
    full-fat yogurt (especially Brown Cow, but Stonyfield is good)
    pasta carbonara (but without the bacon)

    Before my kids were dx with Celiac they were underweight. They were also dairy allergic, and not having dairy on the table made it very hard to help them gain weight. I baked a lot, and added soy protein powder to everything. I can tell you that chocolate masks beans and the colors of green pea flour and hemp – brownies were fabulous with lots of butter and eggs in them.

    I hope things smooth out for Chickie and you, and that food becomes less of an issue.

  61. 62
    Wendy May 10, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    There’s also this recipe that a vegetarian friend used to make for us. It’s kind of like meatloaf, but so cheesy yummy and packed with calories and protein.

    Preheat Oven 350°
    4 Lg Eggs – Lightly Beaten
    1½ C Cooked Brown Rice
    ½ C Wheat Germ
    ¾ C Chopped Walnuts
    ¼ C Chopped Sunflower Seeds
    2 C Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
    1 Lg Chopped Onion
    ½ Tsp Salt
    Pepper to taste
    Combine all ingredients and pack into an oiled
    9-inch loaf pan.
    About 60 Minutes – Until Firm
    Cool in pan for 10 minutes

  62. 63
    Alice May 10, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Food issues suck. I’m glad that you’ve found a nutritionist whom Chickie seems to like, and that she’s open to some things!

    I like the quiche, cheesecake and ice cream suggestions upthread, and second the idea of asking her to come up with ideas for what to try – especially if you can borrow an ice cream maker, maybe she’ll be into the science fair aspect of tweaking recipes? Also, if she can look through some of those ‘put spinach in your brownies’ books, maybe she can pick some to try out?

    Having authority over picking the recipes, and possibly over money specifically set aside for these projects might make her more invested, especially if she gets to make fun foods (with more recognizable ingredients than Oreos). For homemade junk food recipes, I love PimpThatSnack.com (they focus on making things physically larger, but the recipes work, it’s hilarious, and it gets to the science-fair aspect of cooking).

    Other ideas: chocolate zucchini bread, pumpkin/chocolate chip pancakes, chocolate covered nuts from Trader Joe’s (still pricey, but less ridiculous than others I’ve seen), and homemade spiced/sweet nuts. As a vegetarian, I really like Thai coconut curries, and if you can make them at home, you can make them much less spicy than restaurant versions (with an extra pot of spicy sauce on the side for those of you who like the heat).

  63. 64
    mamalang May 10, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    I’m going to say good luck.

    My girl does this without being a vegetarian (steak and bacon is too tasty to give up…lol) I figured out pretty early that her food aversions are a power struggle. She currently eats an uncrustable for lunch every day and a luna bar for breakfast. That is not great nutrition, and she could make a much better tasting peanut butter and jelly sandwich with our homemade jam and whole wheat bread, but I had to step back and say I give. At least she is willing to eat them still. And she still loves smoothies, and will throw spinach and protein powder in them, thanks goodness.

    I know this doesn’t help your situation. I just wanted to say I understand. And I have to believe that someday, we’ll be through this, and she’ll look back and wonder how I didn’t kill her :)

  64. 65
    Rayne May 10, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Emily Rosenbaum wrote an ebook all about baking extra nutritious muffins for her child that otherwise lives on air. I think the title is something like cooking on the edge of insanity.

  65. 66
    Bonnie May 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I was so sorry to hear about the need for bland, because I keep thinking falafel. Lots of garbanzos and served like a taco with a choice of toppings. I just saw an easy recipe that came from Lee Svitak Dean’s cookbook.

    There’s a local restaurant that does a wild rice porridge with fruit, nuts and heavy cream–so good. Searching mahnomin porridge will result in several recipes. I think you could eat it, too.

  66. 67
    Annie Mouse May 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    I make a cauliflower pizza crust, with spinach and eggs on top.

    Avocado roasted with an egg in the seed pocket.

    Greek yoghurt with chocolate protein powder, chia, coconut oil, and cocoa nibs (tastes kinda like a cheesecake mousse thing). Add in dried fuit (I like blueberries) and/ or nuts for added variety/ fat/ fiber

    French toast casserole (make ahead, freeze portions?)

    Egg “muffins” or mini quiches – you can make up a dozen or so on Sunday afternoon pretty easy to get through the week.

    Fruit and cheese are standbys for me.

    ChocolateCoveredKatie (http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/) is a vegetarian who LOVES her treats – might be worth a look? Healthier versions of things Chickie might be willing to eat.

  67. 68
    Jenny May 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Many years ago when I lived in a vegan co-op, people sometimes cooked with TVP, texturized vegetable protein. In theory it can be used in dishes that would call for ground beef, turkey, etc. I think you have to soak it before use, which is a pain, but also an opportunity to add flavor before adding it to your dish. I used it once as “soysage” in spaghetti sauce and frankly it was worth it just to go around saying “soysage.” : ) There are also tempeh and seitan, which are plant-based proteins more interesting than tofu, but if I recall correctly those could be frightfully expensive. Other than that I’m thinking maybe quiche? Good luck!

    • 68.1
      Annie Mouse May 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Oooh! TVP! It doesn’t take long to soak at all – I often use a bit of warmed tomato sauce to reconstitute it – and it can be bought in bulk (online or your local health food store)

  68. 69
    Little Bird May 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I keep coming up with ideas and then realizing that they have chicken broth or bacon in them. But what about loaded potatoes (minus the bacon)? Mashed sweet potatoes (chock full of butter, sour cream, and heavy cream)?
    Guacamole? Not too spicy? Hummus?
    Also? What about bribery?

  69. 70
    Meredith May 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I’ve never commented before, but have been reading your blog for years.

    I’m sorry you’re having a hard time finding Chickie-approved foods. I’m a personal chef who does a lot of meal planning for people with picky diets. I’d be happy to plan/find a few meals for y’all. I know you’re busy, and I’d really like to help.

  70. 71
    Holly Gault May 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    An avocado? Nummy and calorie filled and without a face attached.

  71. 72
    Mandie May 10, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    How does she feel about Clif bars? I came across this recipe a while ago. I’ve found it’s highly adaptable to tastes in our household. They are very tasty, fast, easy, and store well. I made them regularly for my crew during ski season as an easy, portable snack. While they’re not exactly health food, they’re better than some of the alternatives, and I can pronounce the ingredients.

    http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/09/18/homemade-clif-bars-no-bake/

  72. 73
    Lara T May 11, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    Totally get this Mir and I also had the very unhelpful reaction to wasted money and food. Trying very hard to back off but little dude (7) has gone all day at school consuming nothing but his chocolate milk. The ADHD meds suppress his appetite a bit but we had this problem before meds, just accentuated a bit now. Thankfully he still likes smoothies and loves milkshakes. I’ll have to try the hemp powder in muffins though (I bought it for the smoothies but the boys didn’t like the affect on taste. I make sweet peanut butter treats for after school, like the Gobble Up Granola Snacks on allrecipes.com but I substitute honey for corn syrup, reduce the brown sugar and double up the peanut butter and double the recipe. Good luck and share your recipes please ;)

  73. 74
    huh May 11, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    I had to put on some weight last year. My nutritionist had me drinking Orgain… the chocolate, when cold, is pretty darn good. And I’m a total food snob.

  74. 75
    Damsel May 11, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    ((((HUGS)))) You are a rockstar, Mir!!

    What about quinoa?! We love it around here. I make this on a regular basis: http://greatist.com/health/quinoa-breakfast-bake-healthy-recipe/ It’s delicious topped with greek yogurt.

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    Jomama May 11, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    I didn’t find bean pie when searching the page so this may be a new idea. This is a sweet pie–someone at our local farmer’s market sells these and they are delicious! I am sure he won’t share the recipe, but there are sweet (and even savory) bean pies online.

    Also, Asians have tasty red bean-filled fried and steamed dumplings. These are similar in taste to the pie fillings. Good luck!

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    Melody May 11, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    I had the same problem finding flavor and sugar free whey, but they have it on amazon. It is called Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein. I love it!

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    Amanda May 11, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Hmmmmm. I suddenly have a tween who only wants to eat junk food. Me thinks I might try some hemp powder in chocolate muffins to hide the color. I can live with “healthy” chocolate muffins.

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    Nance May 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    We seriously have the same freaking child, mine is just 2 years younger. I don’t know specifics about Chikidee, but over here we have anxiety, depression, ADHD, possibly Asperger’s and a child who is 5 ft. tall and weighs about 73 lbs soaking wet.

    She sees a psychiatrist who also work with nutrition next week. She no longer has a college fund – it’s all a therapy fund, because of course insurance doesn’t cover it. Please share recipes. I need to pack some healthy weight on my child, who also won’t eat anything that looks weird, or might possibly taste weird.

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    Gail May 12, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    So I’m pretty late to this commenting game, but I thought this might be a good recipe:

    http://scrapbook.channel4.com/bookmarkBar/4fd5cd9be4b05aea1ad6d215

    I saw it on River Cottage. It’s a chocolate tart that some raw food lady made, and it has avocados and nuts and dates in it, so I think it is probably pretty healthy. And it has the added benefit of being gluten free (I think). So maybe it qualifies as a sort-of healthy thing that resembles dessert?

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    js May 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    Hell, I’m putting in my two cents here because, why not?! Clearly, there must be a reason why she needs to gain weight and a “don’t worry about it” attitude won’t help because you ARE worried or you wouldn’t be appealing to the blogosphere. So, my girl baby will eat four things and one of them is quesadillas, for breakfast. I’m sure you know what cheese she likes that’s highest in fat, to add sour cream, avocado slices, etc. Pioneer Woman also recently did a breakfast quesadillas that could work, minus the jalapeño and bacon.

    Also, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I lost ten pounds in a week because of epic morning sickness. My doctors made me drink chocolate high protein Boost with ice cream and whip cream. Sometimes I did it like an ice cream sundae, sometimes in milk shake form. Maybe this falls under the smoothie category. Either way, I hope Chickie gets a bit chunky soon ;-)

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    Nancy R May 13, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    What about roasted chickpeas? Drain and toss with a little olive oil and sea salt before roasting for a tasty snack.

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    Tricia May 13, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Does she like coffee?? I found making a mocha with carnation instant breakfast and heavy cream works fab. Nutritious and delicious.

    You can also buy shelled hemp seeds that are quite tasty alone, or as an addition.

    If she wants junk food – mix whipping cream with carnation powder, then whip. Sooo yummy, chocolate whipcream ;0

    Good luck to you and yours

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    Rachael May 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    Dearest Mir, two things come to mind after reading this… first, become friends with Paula Deen. She loves butter. Second, what about a recipe like silken tofu pudding? I made this for my very picky children… and they had no idea they were eating something good with protein in it. And hey, if Chickee loves oreos, crush a few in there.

    Ingredients: 14 ounces soft silken tofu, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup agave nectar,1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (or other nuts of choice, or leave ‘em out).
    Directions: Puree tofu, cocoa, agave and vanilla in food processor. Pour into serving dishes; top with berries and nuts.

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    Chris May 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Wow lots of good looking recipes and I fear we may have overwhelmed with advice. My vote goes to have having her (and Monkey) cook one night a week – gives control, takes away the complaining etc.

    Otherwise I would consider a month long you can eat some agreed upon extra crap as long as you take a multivitamin and eat a bar every day. So not a bag of Oreos but maybe a 6 pack a day or 2 even. (Although if you gave her free rein on Oreos for a month, i bet she would hate them by the end).

    If you are not feeling well, some eating crapping food may be better than fighting. Good luck and take a walk when it is not raining – I know this is important but worry it is one of these things not necessarily solved by tons more attention

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    Cathy May 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I just want to say that I have zero helpful advice, but hope everything turns out ok.

    And in case it is helpful: My husband swears by his grandparents’ Cuban campesino food to gain weight: A plate of rice with a couple fried eggs on top, with avocado slices when in season. It works (too well for me… sigh) and it is his go-to comfort food. Protein and fat rich, and fairly bland as well.

    Good luck!

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    karen May 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Have you ever made Morning Glory muffins? Here’s a link to the originial recipe.. and oooh man, slathered with butter? Awesomeness.

    http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/the-original-morning-glory-muffin

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    Wendy May 13, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Since she likes lentils, will she do a lentil pot pie? Use pie crust or mashed potatoes; cook the lentils and puree into the lentils whatever steamed and mushy veggies you like plus some rice or potato. Add a layer of cheese. Then bake in the pie crust. Little individual pies are fun and not overwhelming. It ends up tasting like lentils, which is kinda what you are going for.

    Also, tofu hotdogs chopped up and mixed with veggie baked beans are a good, high protein, high calorie treat.

    I found that roasting veggies and/or making vegetables very small–like diced–made it easier to eat. You can finely dice cucumbers or carrots or kale and mix it with cream cheese. Put that on a saltine…and that’s bland nutrition, too.

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    Kate May 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    If you’re not already totally overwhelmed with well-intentioned but off-target advice and recipes, you may want to check out the blog My New Roots. Most of the recipes might be a little too weird for your picky eater, but she has a lot of good information on how to up the nutritional oomph of foods.

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    Amelia May 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    You know what? I don’t have a recipe. I wish I did. I wish I had a magic pill. Or…OOOH! Magic PIE!!! Nutrient-filled, organic, fattening, delicious magic pie. But I don’t. I do have a wellspring of good wishes and prayer for you and yours, though.

    And I wonder if it might help you to think of this as a phase. I have been in situations that made me think, “I cannot do this for the rest of my life. I cannot. I CANNOT.” And lo and behold…I didn’t. Because something changed. Something always changes, I’ve found, whether we want it to or not.

    So. I wish for you answers, solutions, and only the best kinds of changes.

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    Tara May 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I’m also a vegetarian. I made these – they are really versatile (I use different varieties of nuts and dried fruits), and the best part is that they’re yummy. http://www.allthingsgd.com/2013/03/no-bake-healthy-freezer-friendly-cranberry-nut-bars/

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      Tara May 15, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      I’m so dumb. I drink this every morning for breakfast http://myvega.com/product/vega-one-nutritional-shake/ I use almond milk and it’s a perfect vegan shake. I also add fruit, nuts, greens, oatmeal, etc to bulk it up. Good luck.

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    Colleen May 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    My son went through a phase at 13 where he went from a 118lbs to 93lbs and basically scared the heck out of all of us. It took a little over a year and a lot of pasta and pizza, but he grew out of it. He’s now 15 and a very strong and healthy.

    Check out http://fitfoodiemomma.com, she makes a lot of really delicious, very healthy though not necessarily low calorie foods. Almost everything she’s posted that I’ve tried has been delicious and the ones my 9 year old has tried have gone over well. She actually posts more recipes on her FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fit-Foodie-Momma/355483044534445.

    She’s sort of local to you (she’s in Buford) and can maybe give you and idea of where to buy. She can also get you a discount at Big Organic Gardens.

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