Here’s some ideas to spice it up, get maximum nutrition in and (hopefully) minimal moaning…

The healthy recipes below are also free from refined sugar, gluten, and dairy!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp crushed up garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Gluten-free tortillas


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Pierce sweet potato with a fork and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes or until soft.

Peel and mash sweet potato in a mixing bowl.

Add black beans, red onion, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, salt and pepper, and mix well.

Place a tortilla on a baking sheet and spread 1/4 cup of the mixture on half of the tortilla.

Fold the other half over and repeat until all the mixture is used up.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups whole oats (or alternative if the coeliac gene is in your family)
  • 1/4 cup maple or rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp himalayan or celtic sea salt
  • Dairy-free milk (optional)


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Mash bananas in a mixing bowl.

Add oats, maple syrup, coconut oil, baking powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well.

Add dairy-free milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist but not too wet.

Scoop mixture into a muffin tin, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sweet Potato Fries


  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • Unprocessed salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 200°C

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into fry-shaped pieces.

Toss sweet potato fries with olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper (or whatever they like from this list)

Spread fries on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy, flipping halfway through.

Other quick and easy ideas:
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • Carrot sticks with hummus
  • Rice cakes with avocado and cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumber with guacamole
  • Trail mix with mixed nuts, seeds, and dried fruit (sulphur free)
  • Roasted chickpeas with garlic and sea salt
  • Homemade granola bars made with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit (sulphur free)
  • Gluten-free crackers 

Remember that presentation can also make a difference when it comes to picky eaters. Try cutting fruits and vegetables into fun shapes or arranging them into a colorful pattern. Additionally, involving kids in the preparation process can make them more interested in trying new foods. You can also make games, use the art of distraction and ensure their feet are firmly in a stool or the ground so they at least feel in control.

If you need further assistance, we have specific naturopaths at Gisborne Health Essentials that work in this area, so reach out for support – it will make your life a whole lot easier because behind every picky eater – is a circumstance, that needs to be addressed.