Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Try, try again

I haven't had much luck with feeding poultry to Henry. He pretty much always shuns chicken, unless it accidentally gets mixed into the food on his tray. Henry does, however, really like meatballs. Using that knowledge, I figured I was really clever and decided to make him turkey meatballs about a month and a half ago. Also knowing that he loves the Asian veggie burgers by Morningstar, I went with a Teriyaki-type turkey meatball recipe. I tried giving them to Henry for 2 or 3 meals, and each time he spit them out. Trial period 1 did not work.

Whenever Henry refuses a food, I don't take it as a final answer. That doesn't mean that I force it on him until he takes it. I try my best to stay calm (although I must admit I have my moments...I know it's not normal to be offended that a 15 month old doesn't like my cooking, but trust me, it happens), and I hold off and plan to try that same food on him on a different day. In school I had learned that it can take a child (or even a picky adult!) 7-15 times before they will accept a new food. I even learned it firsthand when I started to feed Henry solid foods. After trying avocado, he was not a big fan. But, by trial #12, he ate avocado like a champ (and no, it was not 12 days in a row).

With all this information under my belt, I decided to try a plainer turkey meatball recipe this past Friday night. As I mentioned in an earlier email, Henry was not a fan Friday night, and also rejected them Saturday night. HOWEVER, on Sunday and Monday night, Henry happily ate the meatballs! I'm now so happy that I have another form of protein that I can make for Henry. Of course, he may decide not to eat them next time, but I have hope!

Simple Turkey Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs
a few grinds of black pepper (about 1/8 tsp)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp basil

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a pan (8x11 or 9x13 will work) liberally with olive oil spray. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Form 12 meatballs (or make more smaller meatballs and adjust the cook time) and place in pan. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until done, turning meatballs halfway through baking. Serve with sauce if desired (Henry preferred without, to my surprise).

Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!


  1. what do you do on the nights when he refuses dinner? do you make him something else you know he likes? This is my major predicament. I made asian turkey meatballs a week ago and she was wiping off her tongue between each bite. eventually I felt that she had eaten enough but the next night I made mac and cheese with broccoli to avoid the fight. I just won't make 2 dinners in one night

  2. Estyn, I totally know the feeling. I usually make a vegetable and starch along with the protein, and hope that Henry will eat at least one of those. If he doesn't, I take him out of the highchair. Occasionally he'll go back in for a snack (usually fruit), but sometimes he just doesn't want to eat. I don't start making other foods he'll like because I don't want to be a short order cook. I do make sure, however, to offer a familiar food that he likes for the other meals of the day. So far it's working out.