Including Your “Picky Eaters” in Social Activities around Food

Including Your “Picky Eaters” in Social Activities around Food

Let’s be honest, a lot of social activities – both for children AND adults – involve food.  Birthday parties?  Pizza and cake.  Sleepovers?  Dinner (and a pancake breakfast the next morning!).  Playdates after school?  Snack time.  For picky eaters, who experience anxiety around new or unfamiliar foods, these fun, innocuous events may be perceived as threatening and unappealing, and thus avoided.  This avoidance is a problem for any child who might miss out on important childhood moments, but is especially harmful for selective eaters who dually present with social language challenges.  As speech language pathologists, we frequently treat children with complex profiles including language, social, sensory, and feeding difficulties.  How can we ensure that we are fostering our children’s social-language development (i.e., building friendships, participating in play and conversation with peers, and problem-solving social conflicts) across a variety of typical social interactions, while also being sensitive and accommodating to their feeding challenges?

To support our clients using a “whole child” approach, we are thrilled to have launched our City PALS Pragmatic Language Support Groups, which target social language and peer interaction skills through a variety of office- and community-based activities.  Our field trips frequently include food sites (i.e., pizza parlor, restaurants, 16 Handles, and baking cookies), to best reflect the real-life scenarios our children face outside of therapy and school.  How do we foster social skills (e.g., improving turn-taking, increasing flexibility, negotiating and compromising with friends, and engaging in cooperative play) while simultaneously supporting exposure to new foods and eating situations?  Here are some suggestions below!

At 16 Handles, children took turns preparing frozen yogurt sundaes for each other by pretending to be the “waiter” for their partner.  They had to check in with their partners to ask them what flavor frozen yogurt and what types of toppings they wanted, then prepare and serve it to them.  Why did this work so well for our kids, even those with aversions to certain food groups or textures (e.g., wet, “messy” whipped cream or the entire fruit bar!)?  It gave them an opportunity to interact with more challenging foods (by labeling them, scooping them, pouring them, and watching a friend eat them) without the pressure of needing to eat them themselves.  It also served as a fun, engaging, interactive experience with a peer, strengthening our kids’ abilities to reference their peers, listen and recall information, and take turns cooperatively.  Add in some imaginary play props – their very own picture menus and a “waitress notepad” to circle the frozen yogurt flavors and toppings – and you’ve got some very happy and enthusiastic kids!

At the pizza parlor, we were lucky enough to not just order and eat pizza, but to make it ourselves!  A real treat for some of our kids, a real challenge for others.  Imagine all of the sensory information a child must receive and process to make pizza – the temperature and texture of the dough and sauce, the strong smells of different food items as the pizza cooks, and of course the flavors and textures of the food themselves while eating.  How did we make this a positive, safe, and socially-engaging experience for the group?  First, we made the focus of the activity on creating a pizza pie together, as a group.  Each child could contribute to the pizza in the way that he best could, whether that was simply retrieving the materials and passing them out to the group, touching one finger to the dough rather than rolling or flattening it, or opening and closing the oven door (with adult supervision of course!).  Everyone can be involved in the process, regardless of their tactile, taste, or overall sensory sensitivities.  With our kids’ personalized chef hats, complete with their names on the front, all of the children were able to participate in the group experience successfully, leaving the group with greater social confidence and less anxiety about the next cooking or food activity.

 

Remember that we can explore and gain exposure to food and eating experiences using all of our senses and faculties!  We can start with simply viewing or talking about a food, such as by listing the ingredients or discussing how we would make pizza step-by-step, and then slowly and safely move across a hierarchy to eating.  This can include: handling closed containers (e.g., passing a closed tomato sauce jar to a friend), smelling, serving with utensils (e.g., scooping strawberries onto the frozen yogurt with a spoon), touching with just a finger, touching with our lips, licking, and biting.  When food exposure is embedded in socially-rich activities that focus on team work and peer relationships, we are best able to build our clients’ confidence across all developmental domains, including social language, sensory integration, and feeding.  If we, as therapists or parents, are open to a range of ways to participate, there will never, ever be a reason that a picky eater should feel excluded from a social experience involving food!  If they are working with the group, having fun participating at their level, and developing and deepening friendships, then to us, it is a SUCCESS!

 

For more information about City PALS, our Pragmatic Language Support groups, please feel free to contact Robin and Lauren!

 

Robin Goldberg, MA, CCC-SLP, TSSLD                                                           Lauren Cohen, MS, CCC-SLP, TSSLD
Speech Language Pathologist                                                                                            Speech Language Pathologist

 

www.leapsandsoundsnyc.com

 

 

Preventing Food Jags: What’s a Parent to Do?

Preventing Food Jags: What’s a Parent to Do?
By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

*This post was originally published on ASHA’s online blog. The original can be found here.

Photo Credit: r.nial.bradshaw via Compfight cc

As a pediatric feeding therapist, many kids are on my caseload because they are stuck in the chicken nugget and french fry rut…or will only eat one brand of mac-n-cheese…or appear addicted to the not-so-happy hamburger meal at a popular fast food chain. While this may often include kids with special needs such as autism, more than half my caseload consists of the traditional “picky-eaters” who spiraled down to only eating a few types of foods and now have a feeding disorder.  I  even had one child who only ate eight different crunchy vegetables, like broccoli and carrots.  Given his love for vegetables, it took his parents a long time to decide this might be a problem. The point is: These kids are stuck in food jag, eating a very limited number of foods and strongly refusing all others.  It creates havoc not only from a nutritional standpoint, but from a social aspect too. Once their parents realize the kids are stuck, the parents feel trapped as well. It’s incredibly stressful for the entire family, especially when mealtimes occur three times per day and there are only a few options on what their child will eat.

It’s impossible in a short blog post to describe how to proceed in feeding therapy once a child is deep in a food jag. Each child is unique, as is each family. But, in general,  I can offer some tips on how to prevent this from happening in many families, again, keeping in mind that each child and each family is truly unique.

Here are my Top Ten suggestions for preventing food jags:

#10: Start Early.  Expose baby to as many flavors and safe foods as possible.   The recent post for ASHA on Baby Led Weaning: A Developmental Perspective may offer insight into that process.

#9: Rotate, Rotate, Rotate: Foods, that is.  Jot down what baby was offered and rotate foods frequently, so that new flavors reappear, regardless if your child liked (or didn’t like) them on the first few encounters.  This is true for kids of all ages.  It’s about building familiarity.  Think about the infamous green bean casserole at Thanksgiving.  It’s rare that hesitant eaters will try it, because they often see it only once or twice per year.

#8: Food Left on the Plate is NOT Wasted: Even if it ends up in the compost, the purpose of the food’s presence on a child’s plate is for him to see it, smell it, touch it, hear it crunch under his fork and  perhaps, taste it.  So if the best he can do is pick it up and chat with you about the properties of green beans, then hurray!  That’s never a waste, because he’s learning about a new food.

 

To continue reading, please click here to be redirected to ASHAsphere.

The Picky Eater Chronicles

The Picky Eater Chronicles

Photo Credit: Leonid Mamchenkov via Compfight cc

Let’s set the scene. Just two years ago, my kids refused to eat turkey and mashed potatoes as well as all the other traditional Thanksgiving fixings. Well, we’ve come a long way during the past two years as my children tasted, refused and sometimes even protested about trying new foods. But this past Thanksgiving served as a milestone holiday for my family.

My older son Bobby ate turkey, corn and mashed potatoes. Although the food was neutral in color, it was a big step forward. Remember that two years ago, he refused all of the Thanksgiving holiday foods. I did bring my younger son Billy foods I knew he liked because I know he will simply refuse to eat rather than try something new at someone else’s suggestion.

I brought Billy a PB and jelly sandwich, sweet potato cranberry Squeezer, dried mango and freeze-dried peaches. He sat next to his father and his pop. I heard Pop (my father) tell him he needed to eat animal protein to grow tall and be strong. His cousins chimed in to say he already was super strong…especially while playing football earlier that day. Meanwhile, my husband’s father expressed his bewilderment about how my son could even grow at all while eating these foods.

Well, I love—not!—how everyone thinks that it’s okay to comment about my son’s food intake. I could easily comment on everyone else’s food choices and behaviors around eating but I don’t. My Billy quietly took it all in and happily ate his sandwich. Mind you, when it was time for dessert, both of my kids refused the pies and the cheesecake. They chose to eat ice cream…and left without a fuss.

So while Bobby’s intake certainly has improved, it’s not a nutrition regimen to brag about even though he’s come a long way. It just makes me happy to have an easy, protest-free meal. Meanwhile, my younger Billy, the pickier of the two from the very start, continues to need lots of exposure to new foods. But kids are funny; you just can’t force this issue.

Later on Thanksgiving night, I talked with Billy and told him I was okay with his food choices. I said it may be true that he might be a little taller if he chose to eat a bigger variety of foods…especially foods with more protein. I asked if he was interested in trying more foods… particularly if we kept his attempts just between us. He smiled his devilish smile and we hugged.

Photo Credit: © simplyAIM via Compfight cc

After food shopping on Sunday, I gave both boys half a bagel with cream cheese and jelly. And that’s when the drama began! I was simply asking them to try one bite… one lick…one touch…one anything! Bobby took a bite, said it was okay, but wanted his grilled cheese sandwich. So I made him his grilled cheese sandwich. Billy, on the other hand, carried on and on…until he finally tried it…but not before breaking down in tears. Actually, I really do think he liked it, but I doubt he will ever admit that he did. So, what was supposed to be a neutral and calm tasting experience became emotionally heightened—probably more harmful than helpful. I made turkey tacos for dinner that night. Bobby said he would try a taco but freaked out when I added the fixings. He went into a total tail spin. Meanwhile, Billy ate the taco shell in pieces and dipped his finger in the guacamole and held the black beans. That was a huge success—a giant step for Billy. Bobby continued his rant until I asked if there was a part of the taco he might be willing to eat. He chose the turkey meat.

So I sat there with them while they finished eating; my husband and I were already done eating by that point. And then I grabbed a clementine…and enjoyed it even more because the boys joined me. The three of us happily peeled, shared and ate about four clementines. So what started as just another challenging meal time ended up being fun and fruitful. I do wish these special moments with my sons could be tear free, but I guess life would be far too easy then!

Making fun of the RD’s Children’s Food

Making fun of the RD’s Children’s Food

Quite often during the summer months, my family and I share weekends with my best friend’s family at their beach home. What started as two families renting a cottage together each summer is now, almost seven years later, a once-a-month occurrence. My friend has one son and two step children; amazingly, the children all get along beautifully and enjoy all of their activities from playing to eating. If outsiders, however, were to observe our food choices, they’d surely get a good laugh at us…just like my best friend does!

Mind you, there are three separate sets of children—all with different biological parents. You have Alex who is my friend’s biological son. He eats everything from sushi with eel to salmon over field greens or artificially flavored frozen ice sticks. Then there are Bridget and Ben who eat most things and get very excited about food but have had to retire their “clean the plate” club memberships. And finally, there are my wacky eaters! Bobby will eat the salmon but not the field greens. He will eat apple slices in an effort to prove that he has met his nutritional needs because he wants a cupcake. And then Billy: he’s the hummus and pretzel kid. But on one particular weekend, we didn’t have hummus and pretzels.

So, we made green waffles for breakfast. All of the children ate homemade waffles enhanced with green food coloring topped with Nutella. My boys ate only half a waffle while the other three kids gobbled up their entire waffles. Next, we had pizza for lunch; they all devoured that. When we stopped at a farm for some fall fun, they all had apple cider and selected snacks. My son Bobby chose a chocolate chip muffin for his snack but ate only two bites; Billy choose an apple-shaped Rice Krispy treat and ate a third of it. The other three children ate candy apples. I’m not sure how much they ate because I wasn’t watching.

And then, it was time for dinner. I didn’t bring along my kids’ special food preferences; sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. If I do, it’s because my kids are super picky and I want them to have a more nutritionally dense breakfast and dinner rather than one with artificial colors and flavorings. But here’s the caveat! The parents had prepared grilled salmon and swordfish over salad with homemade mashed potatoes for dinner…for everyone. Alex, Bridget and Ben happily ate their dinners and their greens. Bobby moaned until he finally decided to eat his salmon, but no greens; at least he did try some summer squash. Billy just sprawled himself over the bench and declared that he was not eating…which was fine with me except for the fact that he was interrupting our dinner.

So this is why my friend laughs. Her children certainly eat highly processed foods but they also eat wholesome real foods. And my kids are just fussy. They didn’t eat much dinner that night, but perhaps just enough to qualify for Betty Crocker cupcakes frosted with artificially colored green icing. And then, my older son Bobby ate about half of his little cupcake and my younger son Billy just licked the icing off his cupcake. So while my kids had made a scene, they didn’t really eat the cupcakes either. The other kids devoured theirs and even had seconds!

So why is it that my friend’s kids eat lots of everything and my kids eat less of some things? We joke that it’s not role modeling. She eats Lean Cuisine for dinner even if her kids eat a meal. That particular night, for example, she ate salad while we all ate carbs, proteins and fats. Her nanny cooks for her kids during the week, but their dads used to cook wholesome meals for them. (Maybe they learned from their dads?) I make wholesome meals for my kids now but my nanny cooked for them when they were very little.

So, what does this all mean? My kids don’t necessarily devour the fake food using artificial green food coloring (Yes, we added it directly to the waffle batter. And yes, I made tie-dyed pancakes the next morning using an assortment of these same dyes!), nor do they love a wide range of wholesome foods. They do love their regular foods and they eat enough of them.

The other kids may eat a greater variety of foods, but they also eat lots of boxed, processed foods. At the end of the day, I wish I knew the answer as to why this is the case. But for now all I can say is that I love my kids as they are—with all their wacky eating habits; they probably eat a lot like their mother did when she was a child! And my friends and I can laugh at our kid’s eating habits and food preferences.

Do you think your kids eat a certain way because of their environment or genetics?

Do you have children that eat everything all of the time—or just their favorite foods? Are you a like-minded nutrition expert yet always challenged by your own children’s eating?

Looking for a great afterschool snack option to appeal to your picky eaters? Check out Cooking Light’s great snack ideas!

Did the Baked Ziti Bomb or Was It a Success?

 

When I was a child, one of my favorite foods was pasta. For almost two years straight, I ate pasta with butter and/or mac-and-cheese for two…and sometimes even three meals a day! My mother was so fearful about my rejection of all other foods that she took me to the doctor who told her that I was just going through a phase. Well, he was certainly right…because now I eat all foods. It only took me about 22 years to get to this place!

Well, I guess my little apples didn’t fall far from the tree. My boys are just as picky as I was; however, they prefer different foods than I did. So thinking I would be creative and perhaps just a wee bit reminiscent, I thought why not make baked ziti for my boys! After all, it was one of my childhood favorites. I even bought white pasta rather than whole wheat hoping they would really like this dish. Although this is not a particularly healthy meal (though not unhealthy either), I chose to make it in my continuing quest to get them to eat a greater variety of foods. So last Monday while the boys were at school, I made the baked ziti with part skim ricotta, semolina ziti, and Monte Bene sauce. I wanted it ready when they got home from their after-school activities; they would be hungry and thus hopefully more willing to try the dish.

Well, it almost failed…particularly if you consider eating baked ziti for dinner to be the goal! Though I would love that to be the goal, I know it is not realistic. Rather it is simply food exposure 101. The baked ziti tasted delicious. My husband and I ate it. Bobby took one bite and refused more while Billy literally ran to a different room and never even tasted it. Did it almost fail on all levels? No. The boys were exposed to another new food, texture and taste. Billy returned to the dinner table saying he would try a different food but not the ziti. He did willingly try dried pineapple and decided he liked it. He had tried it previously and not liked it, so this was a step forward in our food journey. My conclusion: although we all ate separate dinners once again, we made some progress trying new foods on the baked ziti night. Stay tuned for my next food exposure adventure!

Share your food exposure or feeding editorials with us by guest blogging or posting on our Facebook page, Mom Dishes It Out. If you have questions you want answered, be sure to submit them to us at ASK MDIO on our home page or at http://www.momdishesitout.com/ask/.

 

Teaching Children an Appreciation for Food

Getting kids involved in the kitchen can be a great way to introduce foods

By Guest Blogger: Debra Johnson

Many parents want their children to be happy and healthy. Eating nutrient dense foods is one way to accomplish a healthy body. However, some children are picky and may fight off the idea of new meals. The information below may help a parent introduce new foods into the home.

1. Add Fun – It is necessary for a parent to make eating fun. If a parent does not allow a child to associate excitement with lunch or dinner, introducing new foods may be exceedingly difficult. For example, a parent may choose to add the child’s favorite dipping sauce to the menu. The child may be willing to try a new food if he or she may add something that is familiar and comfortable. It is also possible to cut the new foods into fascinating shapes and give them creative names.

2. Do Not Push – Some parents may push their child into trying a new food; this is a terrible idea. The child may refuse to try the new food in the long run if a parent pressures a child. It is crucial to exercise patience. A child may have to look at the new food several times before he or she tries it. The parent should not punish the child for not eating more than one or two bites. It is a terrific idea to celebrate any taste tests, as this will encourage the toddler to try the food again at a later date.

3. Involve the Child – A child should feel that their opinion is important and appreciated. If a parent wishes to teach an appreciation for different foods, it is a fantastic idea to involve the child in the shopping process. The parent should point to new foods and allow the child to choose what to put in the grocery cart. However, if a parent does not like the chosen food, it does not have to be purchased. The child will feel a sense of belonging and power, and the child will be more likely to try the food at home. The child should also help with the cooking process.

4. Use A Routine – It is crucial to maintain routines. A parent should not change the course of a day if he or she wishes to teach children to try new foods. A child may feel scared or confused if he or she does not receive a snack at a certain time of day. If the child is not ready, he or she may be less willing to try something new. New routines may also spoil a child’s appetite; when dinner arrives, the child may not be hungry, and the new food may be rejected at a faster rate.

Toddlers and young children tend to be picky eaters. It may be difficult to get a child to try something different; however, it is not impossible. The information above may help a parent nurture a love of new foods. With some patience and a willingness to adapt, any parent may accomplish their goal.

 

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of LiveInNanny.com. She welcomes your comments at her email, jdebra84@gmail.com.

 

Keeping it Real: Dishing on My Boys’ Pickiness and Progress

Keeping things real is what Mom Dishes It Out is all about – and that includes the setbacks too. I’m the first to admit it; for every two steps forward that my kids make, they also eventually take at least one step back. In these instances, it’s most important to remember that the evidence continues to build supporting food exposure, rather than force feeding, works when given ample time and patience.

At the end of the day, my children are the real deal, and they give me plenty of experiences to share with you, my readers. Here’s what’s happening on the pickiness home front in my kitchen.

Hot and cold. I am not talking food temperature. Hot and cold has to do with Billy’s fickle nature when it comes to the most natural form of dried mango. One day he gobbles it down, and the next day Billy tells me he doesn’t like this type of mango anymore. So I give him sweetened dried mango. After eating this for about a week, I reintroduce the unsweetened dried mango and he happily eats it. This cycle is the never-ending.

Foods get breaks too. Raisins are another food in my household that the boys tend to love one month and despise the next. I used to always give the boys a box of unsweetened raisins as a snack or side with their lunch. Eventually, I noticed it coming back in Bobby’s lunch box. When I asked him about the raisins, he said he didn’t want them anymore (I believe he actually said he didn’t like them). After six blissful years of raising Bobby, I know that this means I am tired of this food.

About 6 months after this incidence, I’ve now reintroduced raisins—in addition to apple slices and string cheese—to Bobby’s lunch meal. And guess what: His lunch box is coming home empty! It’s not just raisins, apples or string cheese; this has happened with many foods. Moms and Dads, we need to remember children may express interest in old and new foods alike, so keep reintroducing and introducing foods.

Sneaking it in or dressing it up. Just the other day, I told Billy he eats pasta, and he was okay with this statement. Oddly enough, Billy does not like pasta, well with one exception. The trick is if I add his pasta to yogurt with wheat germ, he happily eats it and amazingly doesn’t say boo. In fact, this bizarre combination has become an everyday food for him.

I know that Billy is picky. I’m the first to admit that even registered dietitians can’t promise to raise perfect eaters. Using my professional and personal experience though, I also know that sneaking certain ingredients into foods I know he likes, for instance disguising pasta in yogurt or carrots in carrot cake, is acceptable while working along the continuum of exposure and variety. At the end of the day, if it gets Mr. Picky Palate to eat them, he is healthier and I am happier. While this may not be my first line of action, allowing Billy the opportunity to explore tastes and textures in an unintimidating way allows for progress.

There’s More to Your Child's Food Personality Than Rules and Exposure

American kids can eat almost anything; that’s what I’ve noticed over my past two weeks of travel. If you live in California, your children may be accustomed to eating Mexican meals, snacks from Trader Joes, and occasionally visiting the Donut House for some yummy in the tummy fried dough. If you’re a Colorado native, your kids may enjoy a juicy bison burger, trail mix concoctions and hot cocoa on particularly cool nights. And if you’re from the East Coast, like my family, your tots may be exposed to pizza for easy dinners, organic applesauce for snacks and ice cream on summer nights.

But if you think that a child’s ultimate “food personality”—aka whether they’re a picky or an easy eater—is fully based on the neighborhood they grew up in, the foods their parents purchased or their underdeveloped palates, then think again. Children’s preferences are not black and white, and just as some may be strong-willed, athletic, outgoing or shy, they have equally unique food personalities too.

During my family’s vacation, we spent time on a dude ranch in Colorado, where I observed the same kitchen quandaries I write about here on Mom Dishes It Out all the time. I observed a mom bribing her daughter (the youngest of three) to eat her carrots in order to get her ice cream. I heard another parent tell his sons, “Enjoy your last big breakfast of bacon and eggs.” Personally I just gave up and let my boys eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ice cream twice a day, as they refused all other foods anyway.

At the ranch, I spoke to one guest, an ER doctor, who told me his daughter is a great eater but his oldest son is finicky. When his son went off to college, he lost weight due to his selective intake, and since then has become more open to trying new foods.

Another guest, a nurse practitioner, told me how three of her four children ate well-balanced meals, while one son’s eating patterns were the complete opposite. Interestingly enough, her son with the picky palate is a twin, and exhibited totally different food preferences when compared to his fraternal sibling. (This story reminded me a lot of my own childhood, and how my sister and I had very different eating habits growing up despite our similarities.)

What’s the point of all this? It’s simple. Though rules and exposure in the kitchen may play a significant role in the development of our eating habits, they are not the only factors that will determine a child’s unique food personality. All you can do is sit back, enjoy the ride, and do the best you can as a parent to support them along the way.

  • How would you describe your child’s food personality?
  • What do you think are the greatest influences on your child’s food personality?

MomDishesItOut’s 5 Family Friendly NYC Food Spots

Playgrounds and museums, there’s no doubt that NYC is jam packed with kid-friendly activities and events. But are there children friendly food spots too? If the thought that restaurants might be ‘too fancy’ to take your kids along has ever crossed your mind, think again! Busy Moms and Dads, grab your partner and your kiddies too!

New York City is filled with healthy and affordable restaurants that are family friendly. If you want a night out, kids-free, you can always get hip and healthy with my list of NYC’s Top Chic Restaurants. In the meantime, navigate your way to these eateries for tasty and budget friendly neighborhood food.

 

Bareburger
Enjoy a fun and adventurous meal with your family and introduce your little ones to bison, boar, elk, lamb or ostrich! If that doesn’t suit your families’ taste buds, this restaurant has a little something for everyone. It also specializes in more traditional burgers with grass-fed meats like beef, turkey, chicken, and portabella mushroom for vegetarians. This Mom loves the all-natural bison burger on a whole grain roll!!

Dig Inn
Come here for local produce and lots of flavor. While you pretty much make your own plate, it adds to the atmosphere, making it fun and casual. How does it work? You choose 1 protein, 1 grain or green, and a pick of your favorite seasonal vegetables, (perfect for sharing). With so many options sometimes it can be hard to pick. Go for the lemon chicken, raw baby spinach, tomato & cucumber salad!! My son Billy loves their hummus!

Energy Kitchen
At Energy Kitchen, you don’t have to sacrifice health and nutrition for taste. With a kid’s menu and healthy sides, I love taking my kids here! The bison burger is > 90 % lean so this is always a heart healthy bet!! All meals are less than 500 calories so perfect for a kid’s dinner or a quick, healthy mom lunch. Mom Dishes It Out is offering a free giveaway to Energy Kitchen. Check out our blog for more details.

GustOrganics
Choose food that you can feel good about. Kid friendly food from turkey burgers (large enough to share for young kids) to quesadillas!! The filet mignon and the sizzling fajitas are delic! Using 100% organic ingredients, with Latin American-inspired cuisine, the average kid can find something to eat here. My favorite part is that everything from the purified water to the packaging is based on organic and sustainable practices. This restaurant is actually the first and only certified and organic restaurant in New York – how awesome!

Josie’s Restaurant
Start with fun finger food such as the edamame and or one of the many dumplings at this dairy free, health conscious restaurant. Whether you are vegetarian or a beef eater, you can find a simple no fuss dish. This mom loves the tuna burger and the fish specials. Picky palates can opt for the pasta with turkey meatballs or the roasted chicken with the smashed potatoes!!!