Last month I attended a Picky Eater Makeover workshop run by Liz Weiss from Meal Makeover Moms. It was an interesting mix of attendees. Some were Moms of toddlers who are notoriously picky eaters and there were some with older kids like me whose kids are still picky. I was the only one who complained about my picky husband though. There wasn’t much that I hadn’t already learned about through the course of our journey to adventurous eating. Though I had never thought to do a blind taste test before. My kids would probably be suspicious of doing that.

Included with the workshop was a copy of their cookbook, No Whine with Dinner. It has 150 recipes that were tested by readers of their blog. Many of the recipes look like ones that I’ll try with my family and from following up with some of the other attendees of the workshop they’ve reported great success with several of them. But the first section that I turned to and read entirely was 50 Moms’ Secrets for Getting Picky Eaters to Try New Foods. They were all great tips, many of which we use at our house but what struck me the most was that there’s not one thing that works for everyone. You’ve got to be creative and do what’s best for your family.

After working on this for two years with my family, my contributions to the list would be the following:

  • Perserverance is key! Don’t give up on offering new foods. My son is finally understanding that you’ve got to try a new food several times before making a final judgement on whether he likes it or not. He has recently decided that since his sister loves red peppers so much that he should too. He has tried eating them about 4 times so far.
  • Start a Blog! My kids love seeing the food that we make on my blog. They are much more likely to try new recipes just so they can give me their rating on it.

This is the first recipe that I tried from the cookbook and of course I had to change it a little. I felt that it had too much sugar and not enough carrots so that was adjusted, added some spices and switched the whole wheat flour with spelt flour.

Carrot Cupcakes

(adapted from No Whine with Dinner)

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. Add the shredded carrots and stir. Add the dry ingredients to a separate bowl and mix together with a whisk or fork. Add the dry ingredients to the carrot mixture in three parts stirring (or using a mixer) between each addition until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix.

Fill the prepared muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, stir together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla and either pipe or spread over the cupcakes. I think that the garnish is quite important to the presentation. I had the little carrot shaped sprinkles saved and these were the perfect opportunity to use them.

We kept the cupcakes at room temperature, covered with wrap after the frosting hardened up a little. Our neighbor’s kids were over for dinner that night and did not hesitate to dig in for dessert. My son also very eager to try them. Daughter, not so much, but she did admit that they looked good. Finally the next day I offered her a piece of one and she ate it but didn’t ask for more.  My son and I rate this recipe 5 stars and daughter and husband rate it 3 stars. I will definitely make these again.

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