Take away the stress to please picky eaters

  • Itís good for you: the trick to dealing with a reluctant eater is to make new things a very small part of their meal (Photograph supplied)

    Itís good for you: the trick to dealing with a reluctant eater is to make new things a very small part of their meal (Photograph supplied)

Vegetable stir-fry with nut butter satay

Serves 4


4 spring onions, finely chopped

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced

1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

1 bunch broccolini (sliced into bite-sized branches)

2 zucchini, finely sliced or, ideally, spiralised

2 handfuls spinach leaves

Ĺ cup salted cashews

1 tbs light olive oil, grapeseed oil or avocado oil

Pepper to taste

Brown rice or quinoa


5 tbs cashew or almond butter

ľ cup low sodium tamari sauce

3 tbs maple syrup

1 tbs lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

Ĺ tbs sriracha sauce (you can add more)!


1. Get your brown rice or quinoa on to cook and then prep your veg.

2. Prepare the sauce by mixing together well all the ingredients. Start with a small amount of sriracha and increase if you like it more spicy! Set to one side.

3. Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan and brush around the sides. Add the onions and peppers. Once softened, add the broccolini and a splash of water to create some steam.

Once the broccolini is a little tender, add the zucchini and allow that to become tender too. At the last minute throw in the spinach for long enough so that it wilts.

4. Serve the veggies over the brown rice or quinoa. Sprinkle with the cashews and drizzle with sauce. So quick and easy!

Itís my six-week optimum nutrition programme and we cover everything from blood sugar balance to liver detox pathways.

The goal is to make sure that people get a really sound understanding of exactly how their nutrition choices influence their day-to-day wellness and gene expression too.

Itís detailed and thereís no holding back.

We have, for example, a whole class on poop, because itís important! Itís also pretty funny, most of the time.

Itís always hard to tell how amusing a group is going to find poop jokes.

It often depends on how comfortable they are with each other.

I teach it midway, when everyone has got to know each other a little and itís usually all good.

One of my classes has been giving me a run for my money though.

I stood there today, trying to teach the ins and the outs of, letís face it, a totally gross but pretty hilarious subject, and oh my gosh it was hard to raise a giggle.

This class also involves a discussion on soaking your nuts Ö yep Ö (because it gets rid of enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion).

That didnít go down so well either. I have the wine on the go as I type!

Maybe my reality has been distorted by living with a twelve-year-old and a nine-year-old.

They think anything bottom related is the funniest thing on planet Earth, although I suspect if they knew I taught actual poop classes, to real adults and, potentially, the parents of their friends, they would die.

Iíll just have to keep them sweet by making them totally delicious meals and snacks ó which works, most of the time.

Like most of us, I have one adventurous eater and one who is less so.

My second is more hesitant and suspicious that I may be poisoning her with a hidden green vegetable.

To be fair, sheís right to be suspicious, I usually am.

However, sheís a good sport about it.

Bizarrely, although she wonít eat green beans or zucchini, she will eat sprouts. Sprouts! Most people hate sprouts!

If you have a reluctant vegetable eater, keep trying them on new things because they just might surprise you.

The trick is to make the new thing a very small part of their meal.

So, if they try it and donít like it, you donít have to get stressed about them being hungry or wasting food.

When you take away the stress, everyone is happier and kids are more likely to be receptive.

More of the ďsure, Iíll give it a shotĒ versus ďget that weird thing away from me! Iíve already decided I donít like itĒ.

Another thing that helps in our house is sauce ó actually, bacon helps too (thatís how Belle first discovered she liked sprouts, because they were wrapped in bacon).

They do like to dip veggies in sauce and this one is a total hit. Itís a satay of sorts, but made with almond or cashew butter and you can control the amount of spice.

I drizzle it over a very simple vegetable and cashew nut stir fry (recipe below), but you can also use it as a dip for raw veg or chicken skewers. Enjoy!

ēCatherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram

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Published Feb 28, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 27, 2020 at 10:00 pm)

Take away the stress to please picky eaters

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