No Picky Eaters

You hear it all the time. No matter where you are, who you know. If you know even just one kid, you’ve heard the horrors of having a picky eater.

People are always a little surprised to discover that none of my kids are picky eaters. Some of their favorite foods include fish, shrimp, asparagus, and salad (okay, Miss H loves salad, the boys are still working on learning to love it).

Now don’t get me wrong, they don’t necessarily love every single thing they are offered. They for sure have their preferences. And Mr. B will take something full of sugar over broccoli any day. But getting them to eat healthy and nutritious food is never a challenge. I don’t have to sneak vegetables into cheese sauces, and they have no idea that macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets are considered the norm for “kid” foods. Actually, the older two don’t really like macaroni and cheese at all. But we all love a good chicken nugget now and then.

The truth is, I don’t think we did anything special. We just kept offering, and offering, and often. I kept them involved in the kitchen, and then kept offering a little more.

Until about the age of 2 1/2, Mr. B thought that he only liked bananas, granola bars, and cheddar bunny crackers. But he wasn’t offered those foods at every meal, and he didn’t get to eat them to his hearts desire. The granola bars and cheddar bunnies were a snack food only, and only offered at snack times. I put itsy-bitsy portions of food on his plate each day, knowing he likely wouldn’t eat much of it, and I could always add more if needed. This helped me to not be frustrated with wasted food or for him to feel overwhelmed by the quantity.

He is by far my most particular child, and still, there is not very much he will not eat.

We didn’t discuss with him whether he ate it or not. We didn’t make a big deal of him not eating it. We didn’t make a big deal of him trying it. We just put it on the plate, and let him be.

It took time, for sure, but eventually he got it. Food is tasty.

When he weaned right at age three, he became a more adventurous eater. Suddenly things he’d always claimed he didn’t like, such as tomatoes, became his favorite foods. And, of course, we kept offering.

We’ve never made our kids separate meals. There is no such thing as grown-up food and kid food in our house.

You don’t have to like everything you eat, but you also can’t say it’s gross or disgusting. You can smile, thank whomever prepared the meal, and not eat whatever you’ve decided you don’t currently care for. Though honestly, very rarely do they decide they don’t like it.

He is enjoying stuffed zucchini and a salad. Yep, at 20 months he ate it!

They are offered three square meals a day. Unless Miss H makes breakfast. Then it’s typically just pancakes, which isn’t a very square meal, ha ha, but trust me, they certainly don’t complain nor do I, because it’s nice to have a break. Plus they have free reign access to fresh cut veggies, nuts, and fruits. They can eat as much or as little as they please. I will never tell a child that they’re hungry and are required to eat more. Nor will I insist that there’s no way they could possibly still be shoveling food in their tummy. I have full confidence that they know how hungry or not they are, at all times. And I want them to learn from an early age how to satiate themselves without under or over eating. I want food to be something that nourishes them and makes them strong. I even want them to enjoy the things they eat. But I don’t want them to eat mindlessly, or avoid foods when they’re hungry.

In general, after toddlerhood, we insist they eat at the table (we certainly aren’t militant and make exceptions such as movie night or if they’re in the middle of a board game and want to munch an apple, etc.). When you have to stop what you’re doing and put thought into what you’re doing in terms of eating, you often tend to be mindful and intentional. At least I know I am.

I suppose Bean could be the one to break this method. She could be the one who this no-frills normalcy of healthy food just doesn’t work with. But withstanding any legitimate food issues, I’m assuming probably not. Since it’s the only thing she will know.

We want our kids to have a love of food, the way we do. We want them to enjoy healthy and nutritious food in its organic state. We want them to enjoy exotic foods, fine foods, foods from street vendors, and chocolate chip cookies. Because at the end of the day, we don’t want them to be picky eaters.

Waikiki Brewing Co.

Now that Bean is past the newborn age, we are getting out and exploring more these days. Especially food for dinner. (Because did I mention that every one of my kids have had crazy fussy periods as newborns that lasted all evening and really made any evening activity or event impossible? No bueno.)

We are food people. J and I have literally planned trips around places we will stop to eat. We like food.

Today we made it over to the Waikiki Brewing Company.

We’ve driven passed it a thousand times and have commented we should go, but it took us this long to actually make it.

I will tell you, the parking is not exceptional. It’s very limited, which could make things pretty tricky during peak times. But literally right next door to it is a small garage with extra parking, though it does cost $5. In fairness, parking pretty much anywhere in Oahu, especially in Honolulu, is often less than ideal.

The waitstaff was fantastic and crazy friendly. They engaged my kiddos and were very attentive of our needs, happily moving some tables around to accommodate us since their large tables were all all ready occupied.

It was a kid-friendly place, which is pretty imperative for us as we typically have small people in tow. It was loud with music, lots of space to get their crazies out if needed (they actually didn’t this time!), and they had a Mrs. Pac Man arcade game available to play; and if I’d needed to send the big kids over with a stack of quarters I would have, but they were amazingly content the whole time.

Sweet M was particularly fond of checking out the brewery section where the giant bats were hard at working creating beer.

I will be honest, I am not a beer person. A few ales in England struck my fancy, and a warm cider in Belgium, but that’s it thus far. So while J and his cousin tried out beer samplers, I treated myself to a Maui Mai Tai. It was delicious, and apparently the beer wasn’t half bad either.

Also, the food was great. I didn’t get to taste a proper dinner as I’d had a large lunch, but I had the arugula and goat cheese salad and I ate ever last morsel. No joke. And some lovely older auntie came over and swooped my baby out of my arms and danced and loved on her so that I could eat said salad. Have I mentioned how much I adore the people in Hawaii? They’re all so loving and helpful and friendly. The way the world should be.

It was a fantastic dining experience and we will be returning customers for sure! We were so impressed with the Waikiki Brewing Company!

Ono Steaks & Shrimp Shack

One of the best parts about living on Oahu is the food.

I love food. I have no shame. I eat all the foods. All the time. Of all the regrets to go to my grave with, “I could have ate that, but I didn’t” certainly will not be one of them.

One of our favorite little places we discovered early on is Ono Steaks & Shrimp Shack. We came upon it randomly when driving around the island one afternoon and I am so glad we did.

It is tucked off the street in Waimanalo on the east side of the island. It’s a bit of a trek from our Honolulu home, but so worth it.

It’s completely no-frills, but the quirky bright yellow outside will pique your interests and draw you in. And the amazing food will keep you coming back again and again.

You won’t find many tourists here since it’s off the beaten path, so prices are fair and the food is fresh and delicious!

My hands down favorite is the fish tacos (with mango – yum!) and a side of garlic fries. Life doesn’t get better.

Your meal is served in styrofoam containers whether you are staying or ordering food for take away. You clean up after yourself and throw your rubbish in the bin outside. As I said, no-frills.

If you’re looking for amazing, local food, be sure to stop in to Onos! You will be so glad you did!

Super Easy Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cereal Bars

I’ve kind of dropped the ball on a fun Halloween events and goodies this year. So I didn’t want to let my kiddos down for Halloween morning.

If you’re like me, I love everything pumpkin spice, then you probably bought the pumpkin spice Cheerios. They were sittingunopened in my cabinet, as I was urging the kids to eat other cereal that was opened first. I wanted to make something fun for them on Halloween morning, but was kind of at a loss.

I had a hankering for chocolate, as I do pretty much all moments in which I am breathing, so decided to combine my love for pumpkin and chocolate together.

Actually, I combined my love for nutella and chocolate.

The concoction was easy and fast to make, and my kids were delightfully excited to try this out with some fruit and yogurt for breakfast. It took less than five minutes for me to put it all together and set it in the freezer for 20 minutes to get hard. And voila! The easiest breakfast I’ve made in a long time.


4 cups of pumpkin spice Cheerios

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup Nutella

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup honey


1.) In a large saucepan combine all the ingredients except for Cheerios and mix well on low heat until thoroughly blended.

2.) Add Cheerios and coat thoroughly with mixture.

3.) In a wax or parchment lined 9 x 13 baking dish, press Cheerio mixture in firmly.

4.) Set in freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.

5.) Enjoy!

It’s just that easy! If you have leftovers, I’d store them in the freezer so they don’t get soft (we didn’t have any leftovers).

Happy Halloween!!

Whoopie Pies and Math

All my tiny humans love being in the kitchen. They love cooking and they love eating!

Let’s be real; they come by it honestly. Their papa is an amazing cook and their momma is an amazing eater!

I try not to let them watch television when we’re at home. I save it for long travels that way it’s a bit more enticing. But sometimes, we do have movie nights, or when Sweet M is napping B and I will turn on PBS and watch cooking shows. (And yes, some days they just watch tv all day because, well, those days do happen.) 

Last week Mr. B and I are watching Martha Stewart on Create makie whoopie pies and other desserts. It was no surprise that Mr. be honed in on those whoopie pies and decided that he, too, must create such masterpieces. I mean, chocolate and icing? What isn’t there to love?

Our week has been busy though, cleaning and purging for our trans-Pacific move (more on that another day), and sweet M has been very clingy. We just haven’t found the time to get in the kitchen and make some dessert.

So I told J that Saturday morning was for me and B to finally bake. He entertained M while B and I winged our own whoopie pie recipe. 

We try to avoid gluten and dairy, and I really didn’t want to have to buy any extra ingredients when we are trying to eat through our pantry, not add to it, so we came up with our own, yummy recipe! 

I also had a lot of fun watching Mr. B count and add fractions as he added ingredients. Instead of giving him a one cup measuring cup, I gave him a half cup, so he had to put those 5-year-old math skills to the test when he needed 2 cups of GF flour, etc. 

He learned how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, and had to count some pretty big numbers when we needed 6 tablespoons. 

Not every moment has to be a learning moment, but gosh darn it, you can bet that I will try, ha. 

The end result was surprisingly yummy. Well, I guess it wasn’t much of a surprise. I mean, chocolate. Need I say more?

So if you’re looking to add some fun math to your life, or just eat some yummy desserts, enjoy Mr. B’s whoopie pie recipe!

Mr. B’s Gluten and Dairy Free Whoopie Pies

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups GF flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or other milk substitute)
  • 6 tblsps shortening 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Icing ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin pans.
  2. Mix all of the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat until mixed thoroughly.
  3. Place a heaping tablespoon into each muffin slot. Shouldn’t be more than about 1/3 full. 
  4. Bake for 12 minutes – toothpick should come out clean.
  5. Move into wire rack to cool.
  6. Beat icing ingredients in large bowl.
  7. Put icing on the tops of half the whoopie pies – be generous! Then too with another cake piece. 
  8. Voila! Enjoy your creation!

I will admit that I’ve never had a “real” whoopie pie, so our method and ingredients may be blasphemous. I apologize. But they’re delicious! 

Food Aversions

I remember when I got pregnant with Miss H, I anticipated all kinds of crazy food cravings. Pickles and ice cream, anyone?

I had a strong hankering for red meat, which up until that point in my life I rarely ate, and there was one night where I desperately needed pecan pie with bacon on top (don’t ask), but otherwise, I can’t say that I truly craved anything.

But boy was I completely grossed out by most things!

I think maybe that is where the idea of pregnancy cravings come from? There is so much that sounds terrible that the few things that sound appealing become your “cravings.” I mean, that is definitely a more positive spin to say “I’m really craving a cheeseburger” as opposed to “Literally the thought of any other food other than a cheeseburger makes me want to vomit in my mouth.”

Or maybe I’m an anomaly. But that’s doubtful.

With Miss H, I mostly could only stomach red meat. In any form. Lots and lots of red meat.

With Mr. B it was coffee and chocolate (okay, okay, those are the things I most want all the time and I was trying to keep up with a precocious toddler).

But really, anything other than those things sounded so undesirable that it’s a miracle my children came out healthy and not terribly undernourished. Eating anything else was quite the feat.

I didn’t have any strong cravings with Sweet M. Or any strong food aversion, to be honest.

I guess that was the positive spin on his pregnancy because unlike the first two his was anything but easy.

So far, this pregnancy is more in line with the first two, thank goodness. And while I can hardly open my fridge because the smell is so awful (J says it’s not), and water makes me nauseous (WHAT?), all I can seem to stomach is bread.

Yep, bread. Everything else sounds terrible.

This is kind of ironic since I literally never eat bread. I’ve sincerely eaten more bread in the past three weeks than I have in the past three years. What gives?

This morning I opened the fridge to make the kids breakfast and couldn’t handle it. So we headed to a local bakery for coffee and muffins, making Miss H 10 minutes late for school, all because the idea of food is unappealing.

In general, I’m in the “pregnancy is beautiful” camp. Even when I was miserable with Sweet M, I still knew it was kind of amazing and tried to see the beauty in it all.

But hot damn. I could do without the pregnancy aversions. I’d love to walk into my kitchen and make a big plate of sweet potatoes and runny eggs with avocado, all of which, merely thinking about, make my tummy turn.


Try It Tuesday: Mini Chocolate Chip Blender Muffins (Dairy Free, Grain Free)

When we began eating a mostly Paleo (dairy, grain, and soy-free diet)¬†diet over 5 years ago (wow, it’s been that long!?), I knew there was some kid classics that I still wanted my kids to enjoy. (And we are not hard core Paleo over here. As I’ve said before, we still eat ice cream, etc. But we try to save non-Paleo foods for outside our home, and only keep Paleo-friendly foods in our home).

One of my all-time favorite snacks as a kid were those little chocolate chip mini muffins that came in a package of 5 and tasted like straight up delicious sugar. I have fond memories of those!

Even if we didn’t eat a loose Paleo diet, they still wouldn’t make the cut for foods I want my kids to be putting into their tiny bodies, no matter how amazingly delicious they may be.

So I went on a quest for the best Paleo muffin recipe. And I tried a lot!

Finally, I came up with one, a small conglomeration of a few different we’ve tried over the years, that has withstood the test over and over again of always pleasing everyone. Plus, it’s super versatile so you can change it up and it will still work out amazing!

What you need:


  • 1 cup Nut Butter (I typically use Almond Butter, but I’ve used Cashew and Sunflower butter without fail as well!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas (the riper the sweeter!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 3 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
  • ** Because these are so versatile, you can add or omit as needed/wanted/preferred. I’ve been without eggs before and substituted flax seed (1tblsp flax seed with 2.5 tblsp warm water, let sit and congeal for a few minutes = 1 egg). When we’ve made them without chocolate chips, I’ve added two tablespoons of honey to meet my children’s sweetness preference. Sometimes we throw in shredded coconut or chia just for the hey of it.

To make the muffins is super simple. Literally throw all the ingredients into a blender (a food processor would work as well, I just prefer the ability to pour into the muffin tray as opposed to spoon out). I add the chocolate chips last, after everything has been blended well. It will be a runny batter.


Waiting patiently for a muffin


Then pour muffin batter into a greased mini muffin tray and bake at 400 degree for 10-12 minutes. Voila! (I typically get about 30 mini muffins.)


Crazy simple, and super yummy!

They’re always a hit in this house! Even J will eat them, and that says a lot. Even after 7 years of marriage he is still pretty skeptical of my “hippy” foods.

We love them as on-the-go snacks and as part of a quick breakfast: 2 mini muffins and a piece of fruit with a glass of almond coconut milk – yum!


I hope you love these as much as we do!