a peek inside the fishbowl

10 Jan, 2012

Welcome to our newest patron: Swiss Natural

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Fishbowl patrons|parenting

I want to welcome a new patron today but also talk about healthy diets and what our kids should be eating.

It’s funny, the parenting-related promises we make to ourselves before the kids come along… about breastfeeding, co-sleeping, outdoor play, and eating. Well, 12 and a half years ago I pledged that I would never give birth to a picky eater. Har har. I thought that picky eaters were spoiled kids who were coddled by their parents, destined to spend their adult lives at home, alone, eating white bread and baloney sandwiches with the crusts cut off instead of going to fun restaurants with their friends. Well, guess what happened? One of my kids turned out to be someone who is, how shall we say, rather selective about the things she eats.

She’s improving with age, mind you, and she’s not an absolutely terrible eater. There are worse cases than mine. I’ve read about kids who go through a “white” phase, or refuse to eat any and all vegetables. She eats carrots and red peppers, and will choke down a salad if it’s covered with enough dressing. She ate butter chicken last night, which did my heart good and gave me hope.

I am a very well-rounded eater so this has always been a difficult issue for me to deal with. And I am thankful that we have the kind of kids who will try things at least once. One issue that hasn’t been resolved has to do with the variety of foods she will eat. Or should I say, the lack thereof.

I didn’t think I’d be the type of parent who’d ever give her kids vitamins, but here I am.

I started giving her Swiss Natural vitamins because as I watch her get taller (and what stays behind on her dinner plate every night), I fear that she’s missing something crucial. I am aware that it’s preferable that whole foods are the delivery vehicle for nutrients, but the reality is that she’s not getting them all.

She doesn’t eat eggs, nuts, any kind of beans (except chickpeas in hummus), and almost all green veggies. Thankfully, she will eat fruit, some fish, whole grain breads, (although she prefers refined whites), yogurt, and some cheeses. She eats some fish, most meats (as long as there is ketchup), but quinoa? Brown rice? Lentils? Broccoli? Kale? Forget it.

I serve lots of raw veggies at dinner (she won’t eat any cooked vegetables) and heaven forbid anything appear in a casserole, because you know, it’s TOUCHING OTHER FOODS. Soup is only tomato, sometimes chicken noodle. But I would love them both to eat carrot ginger. Or roasted red pepper. Or squash. Gah. Most of the time I’m ok with it, but other times I want to throw my apron into the garbage and hide under the bedcovers, and blame myself for being a bad parent.

I believe that vitamins are an insurance policy against an imperfect diet. Why else would my doctor have recommended I take folate when I was pregnant?

Do you or your kids take vitamins? Why or why not? My daughter has been taking Swiss Natural’s Total One for kids without complaint. She certainly understands why… we have talked about it enough.

I would love to hear what you do to ensure your kids get the right nutrients, whether they are picky eaters or not.

Anyway, this post turned out to be a lot longer than I anticipated. The idea of eating right is one I think about a lot. *sigh*

Thank you Swiss Naturals for stepping up and becoming a blog patron! I do appreciate the support. Fishies, you might be interested to know that Swiss Natural is on Facebook, and is currently hosting a cute contest to name their Total One Polar Pals. You can win a really cool family game pack (and you know how much I love family game night)! Check it out here.

7 Responses to "Welcome to our newest patron: Swiss Natural"

1 | Giulia

January 10th, 2012 at 1:19 pm


I’m lucky that my daughter will at least try anything and then decide if she likes it or not. She eats a good selection of fruits, vegetables, bread, meats, eggs and cheese. I have to watch that she doesn’t just eat cheese!
My son won’t touch a vegetable, nothing, zip. He’ll eat bananas,strawberries and raspberries, but that’s pretty much it. He’ll pick out corn, spit out peas, etc. He’s turning three next month and our doctor says not to worry. Just keep putting it on his plate. He’s healthy, strong and tall and we hopefully come around.
What frustrates me the most is when they suddenly decide not to eat something that last week was their favourite…it seems like you’ve never got a sure winner.

2 | andrea

January 10th, 2012 at 1:25 pm


Giulia, I agree that we have to keep trying, no matter how frustrating. I know this has worked for us. There’ve been many cases when they haven’t eaten something their entire lives and then suddenly try it and like it!

I would eat cheese all day if I could too.

3 | karen

January 10th, 2012 at 2:21 pm


My daughter takes a multivitamin on the recommendation of her ped. At 13 the only fruit she will eat is watermelon. I has to be what she deems the “perfect” watermelon. She eats some veggies but not nearly enough. He eats whole grain bread, given the choice I know she’d pick white. She eats meat. The only beans she will eat are chickpeas, either on their own or in hummus. She will also tolerate red kidney beans in chili but not in soup.

My daughter is not getting everything she needs through her diet alone. She is actually getting worse with age. But I can’t complain about her because her brother is 100 times worse and yes he takes a vitamin.

4 | Jaime

January 10th, 2012 at 2:59 pm


I’ve definitely noticed that our 2 year old is picky about things…mostly it’s spices and sauces. She’ll eat cooked plain veggies, but doesn’t like multiple ingredient dishes, like casseroles as much. I think that you just need to keep offering kids a variety of foods, and eventually they’ll try something. I think it’s also helpful to avoid the processed “kids food” out there – dinosaur shaped mcnuggets, wonder white bread and fish sticks and feed them real food as much as possible. A multi vitamin certainly can’t hurt – especially when it comes to vitamin D in northern climates in the winter.

5 | Ginger

January 10th, 2012 at 11:47 pm


I have picky eaters…but for different reasons that I ever thought I would ever have before they were born. Dean is by far my most selective eater. I consider myself lucky because he will eat pretty much any fruit offered to him except citrus. Emory is also fairly selective but in completely different ways than Dean. It sometimes seems that if you put my twins together you would have a very well rounded individual because what one eats the other will not! :)

They don’t take multivitamins yet…they are 3 and I doubt I could get them to take anything…even the chew kind. But the pediatrician hasn’t recommended them yet either.

We are entering a whole new world…finding out that our boys have Sensory Processing Disorder….many picky eaters have SPD. Picky eating is just one of our many issues and I certainly do not know enough to speak intelligently about it. I am currently reading and researching now and the boys are about to being therapy for sensory.

Dean also has food goals with his speech therapist and I am happy to report that after one tiny little non-session he had a break through yesterday and took his first bite of raw carrot ever! Tonight he ate a whole baby carrot!

While my selective eaters have underlying issues…we do struggle and I feel like giving in plenty of times too! There have been some nights when dinner was yogurt pops (we freeze the yogurt ourselves)…not my best moments but at least it was protein and calcium and fruit!

6 | Javamom

January 11th, 2012 at 1:45 pm



Ben is the most active 6yo boy I have ever met, and we eat whole foods like your family. He’s is, by MY standards, picky, but compared to ‘commercialized’ picky, he is a great eater. I’m sure you know what I mean. But it’s his quantity…the miniscule amounts of food he consumes can’t possibly be enough energy for him.

Yet when all he wants to eat is raw fruit and veg and then plays soccer and hockey for 4 hours per day, I wonder if he’s getting enough, um, everything. I can’t make pasta everyday, or ribs. Plus I don’t want to.

So yes. We started vitamins for him, a multi, Genestra brand is what the Naturopath doctor recommends. Also fish oils. And I smuggle Vitamin D drops in his water every other morning.

The rest of it? I’m glad he eats what he eats. And cooking remains a challenge…

so again. *sigh* But it’s nice to know one is not alone.

7 | Wendy

April 9th, 2012 at 1:10 pm


Coming from a 52 yr old Grandma, I cringe at the thought that I gave my 3 daughters Flinstones vitamins.

There is a great site, that Dr. Dworkin supports. It’s called , Quackwatch.
You can check out any product to see if it’s supported by “actual” studies.
There is evidence that Vit E, Vit D, supplements are definitely good for us!

I am lucky in that my Grandaughter eats a huge variety of foods.
Her Mom (my middle daughter) feeds her Salmon, beets, brussel sprouts, broccoli, sweet potatoes, rice etc.
She will eat brussel sprouts as a snack!

Funny thing is , she won’t eat cooked carrots. She absolutely loves corn, which my daughter won’t buy, so she has corn on the cob here or in Shepherd ‘s pie..lol.

It can’t hurt to give a vitamin, Swiss are one of the better ones.

Wondering if anyone is struggling with allergies with their children?
I know my daughter is limiting dairy etc.
Has anyone tried this?

Oh, Andrea I had to laugh about the “food touching food” issue, Alessa is the same. Her food has to be spaced out or in separate bowls! LOL

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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