Sunday, April 19, 2009

Picky Eater Chronicles: Mission Rainbow

SweetPea is a Picky Eater. I HATE the fact that she is a picky eater. It drives me nuts. I love being adventurous in eating and living with a picky eaters truly thwarts my adventure. And I add a plural to the end of Picky Eaters because Hubbs is Picky too. I would have to say food issues were the biggest challenge at the beginning of our marriage. I hated it when I would take the time to prepare a meal and Hubbs wouldn't touch it. But I have learned what and how to make what he does eat more fun for me. And I do have to say Hubbs is good at picking around stuff. I mean, he has been picking around for over 30 years so he has developed a skill. I just try not to look at his plate because it makes me sad to see all the good stuff in a rejection pile at the edge of his plate.

Anyway, I now, and so does Hubbs, blame his genetic make-up of food pickiness, as the reason for SweetPea being picky. I have tried so many things to try and "break" her of the habit. I just find her will is stronger than mine. I should have realized it when she was a baby and refused to nurse at first. I guess the cards were laid at the beginning. Overall she has liked, at some point, many different foods. Currently, she eats primarily noodles with Parmesan cheese and peanut butter sandwiches.

The main thing I try and do is ALWAYS offer lots of foods AND try and be creative. So the following is my latest failed attempt at diet diversity.

As we were driving to the store I began to lay the foundation for dinner. We were going to have a Rainbow Dinner. I explained we needed to find foods of every color to eat. Food, Glorious Food! of every color!

Red: strawberries and watermelon
Orange: carrots and cantaloupe
Yellow: bananas and corn
Green: grapes and broccoli
Blue: blueberries
Purple: grape juice
I also added Black Olives for another color.

SweetPea makes me laugh because the girl is practically a vegetarian, a raw vegetarian.

I then plans to make a Rainbow Cake. The deal was IF you eat at least one bite of every color (black was not required) then you get to have the rainbow at the end of dinner. It turned out really cute, but it was still a hard sell. Even though she picked out the food, and she helped prepare it ALL she really only ate the watermelon. Then she got whiny, then she began to argue, then she went on time-out for not doing as she was asked and being disrespectful. Then an hour after Hubbs and I finished our rainbow she began to nibble a few things. So I guess I can't call it a complete failure!

Here is my plate
The cake

The directions on how to make the cake a re pretty easy. I first saw the cake as cupcakes on my friends blog (She made it for St Patrick's day.) So I did a Google search for it. I found this woman's directions. I have made cake with diet soda before and I have found it to be a bit more delicate of a cake, meaning it loses some of its durability and become fragile. She is smart and makes the layer WHOLE cakes, so it keeps some of it integrity. I was trying to make a layer cake and cut it. (I did it during a cake decorating class. I was TRYING to cut some calories. I decided to make awful flavor combos instead.) ANYWAY. I thought a bundt cake would make a cute rainbow cake. SO I took her idea and modified it as follows.

The recipe I used is a modification of my Aunt's AMAZING chocolate bundt cake recipe.

1 - package white cake mix
1 - 5.25 oz box of instant vanilla pudding
1C - sour cream (I had to use part sour cream part plain yogurt this time)
1/2C - oil
1/2C - warm water
4 - eggs (I used whole eggs, the yolk didn't yellow the batter too much)

for the colors I used gel food coloring

I mixed it all together.

Then I divided the batter into six parts
I added the food coloring

SweetPea helped mix

I then began to layer the batter into the well grease pan. Since I wanted Red on the "top" I put it in first. The batter is thick so I had to work it around a bit.
I then layered in orange and worked it around, then yellow and worked it around, then green.Blue came next and purple last!
I then baked it at 350* for a little over and hour. The outside got a little dark(I think the temp is off on my oven, I NEED to get a thermometer,) but it wasn't burnt. A burnt bunt would be no good! The colors seemed to come out really nice.
I then frosted the top of the cake for a "cloud" effect. I was planning for whipped topping, but I ended-up using that for something else a couple of nights earlier. So regular ol' white frosting and some marshmellows to add to the cload effect and to help stabilize. A few sprinkles and *poof* a rainbow!

Here is a picture of SweetPea begging to skip a few colors to get to her Rainbow!


  1. Great idea--you are so creative! I saw on a blog once they eat out of muffin tins on mondays. Muffin Tin Monday and she will always post on her blog the different things she puts in each spot. (she only has 6 muffin spots on her muffin tin) She makes them eat a couple bites out of atleast each muffin spot. I hope I don't have any picky eaters--I would just let them starve :) Not really but I would struggle.

  2. Good news on Sweet finally trying a few more foods besides watermelon ... stick to your guns, Luna ... she'll slowly get better. My husband was a very picky eater as a child (soda crackers, only) Now, he'll eat anything! There IS hope for Sweet Pea.

    Great cake ... I want to make one. What fun! All sorts of possibilites come to my mind ... a pastel rainbow .. or a varied chocolate rainbow

  3. That cake is awesome! I love it. I am going to have to try to do it too. We have a picky eater in the family too who will only eat crackers and cereal somedays. I have seen the muffin tin thing too, but haven't tried it. We were in OT for eating for a summer, so crackers and cereal are actually not bad for us.

  4. I can relate to the picky eaters business. Jackson is totally picky. I try not to make a big deal about it and he's getting better at at least trying things, but he will almost never eat more than a bite of something new. Lou is not really picky, but because of all his stomach issues he can only eat certain things. I know all about seeing that rejection pile and feeling kind of sad about it. Cute idea...the rainbow dinner.

  5. What an awesome idea. I will have to try a rainbow dinner for my picky kids. Thankfully, our youngest is not picky. Anna is about 14 months old and eats everything I give her.

    Oh, and I love the chocolate bundt cake recipe with the chocolate chips in it. Gotta love the cake mix doctor.

  6. Wow I love the rainbow cake! I'm pretty sure picky eaters at my house would starve. Best of luck, she'll turn around one day!

  7. You are AMAZING! Go Luna! We are totally making this cake!