Life with picky eaters in tow, how we’re challenging it {Review}

Loblaw North Vancouver DietitianWhen we had Alivia, if you had told me that once we were done changing diapers and spoon feeding, that I would be spending hours at the table trying to get her to eat the simplest of meals I would have laughed. I would have told you that there was no way my child was going to be a picky eater. She was going to eat what was in front of her and that was that! I wouldn’t cater to different meals and being a mom slave, but… 5 years in, and here I am.

I’m one of many moms that are fighting the food battle at home. Working full time and struggling to keep nutritionally balanced meals that cater to everyone on our tables has become a major worry of mine. I have days where I feel like a complete failure because my child would only eat cheese for dinner. Or, she’d eat three bites of pasta and proclaim after 30 minutes of pushing it around that she was “full”, only to come back 20 minutes later and cry she’s hungry.

I’m with you mommas, I’m with you.

Loblaws City market dietitian

When I was invited recently to check out the free dietitian program at Loblaws City Market in North Vancouver, I might have come across as a little bit eager as I pounded out a resounding YES in my reply. YES, we needed help. Oooh goodness, we needed help.

Loblaw knows the challenges we face with food, reading labels and making sure we are eating the best for ourselves and our family. That’s why they created the in-store Registered Dietitian program, to help Canadians achieve their health and wellness goals, all with the support of this in-store, free program that’s conveniently located at your local grocery store.


A bit of background about our family; I’m 98% vegetarian, I’ve found after years of trial and error that my body just doesn’t respond well to eating a lot of meat so I stick to the beans, rice, veggies kinda meals. It’s rare that I’ll have meat during any meal (though, I’m not opposed to it). I also have no gallbladder, so high fat and high protein meals can be very upsetting to my tummy.  A, is a relatively picky eater. We’ve only just recently been able to get her to try anything green. At just under 3 years old, she stopped gaining weight for 6 months and was dangerously close to being diagnosed as failure to thrive. We literally tried *everything* to get her to eat and eventually had to concede to supplements while we tried to find ways to get her to eat. Due to this lovely traumatic mom experience, I’m a little more lenient with food and generally go by “well.. she’s eating something, right?”Hubby? Well, he’s a guy and will pretty much eat anything, but he’s a fairly healthy eater and likes a lot of greens.

To summarize, we have a meat lover, a vegetarian, a picky eater and 3 different dinners to deal with.

Loblaws City Market

Enter Jessica Wang, a registered dietitian who works out of Loblaws City Market in North Vancouver. I was a little nervous meeting with her and had half expected to have our menu items picked apart but I was so pleasantly surprised. The dietitians on staff truly have your best nutritional interests at heart, they aim to help you find ways to incorporate healthier alternatives, keep up your vitamin intake and in general, love all the good foods!

At the start of our meeting we spent about 30-45 minutes talking about my family’s specific nutrition concerns, what a normal meal looks like at our house, and any dietary restrictions and my target topics.  From there Jessica pulled out a flurry of helpful pamphlets and recipes to give us (me!) a leg up. For us, the most important thing was making sure that personally I was getting enough iron, that A was getting enough variety and how we could get around the 3 different meals at the table.


I learned some pretty awesome tips and tricks, like how to successfully sneak additional vitamins into A’s food with ground up flax in  yogurt and sauces. Also, how all the iron -rich foods I was trying to eat to counter the no meat was pretty much useless since I wasn’t pairing it with vitamin C. In all, I walked away with a fistful of recipes and 3 pages of notes (I’m a note-taker!). 

Once our meeting was done, I felt a little bit more empowered. I could do this. I could create delicious, nutritious meals that would please the entire family!

Once you are done with your initial meeting, you have a chance to explore the store and ask questions with your dietitian. Jessica made a list as we chatted about foods we would check out (Omega 3 eggs, cereals for a convenient breakfast, fish and pasta to name a few!) in the store.


I learned a sneaky little tidbit from Jessica that I plan to use on my next trip to any Loblaw store, if you’re walking the store and you notice Stars on the price tags those can help you make informed choices as well. The Guiding Star program is an impartial program that ALL Loblaw stores use that helps you in finding nutritious, healthy snacks and foods without needing to have a PhD to read the labels. 1 star, probably not the best choice – 3 stars, one of the better choices.

You don’t need to feel rushed with your dietitian either, if you leave the store and have a question, you are welcome to follow up with them! You will also have the chance to do a follow-up meeting to see what has been working, and what might need a little tweaking.


Loblaw dietitians offer shoppers a range of free services, including:

  • Providing nutrition check-ups to assess dietary habits
  • Grocery store tours to identify healthier choices
  • Health and wellness workshops and lunch and learns tailored to the specific needs of your group
  • Developing custom meal plans based on dietary needs
  • Interactive cooking classes and demos
  • Tips for encouraging your children to try new foods


Going on 5 years with a picky eater, I wish I had known about this service ages ago! The best part? It’s completely free. You’ll have access to a certified dietitian who can help you overcome meal time hurdles and make dinner time a happy time again.

We’ve already started incorporating many of Jessica tips into our family meals, from adding a scoop of ground flax to our pasta and vegetables, to switching A from drinkable yogurts to Kefir and Greek yogurt sweetened with fruit. We’ve significantly upped our Omega’s and all without a single person complaining. I’d call that a win!

If you’re interested in learning  more about the dietitian services and find out what store locations offer the service, visit Or, if you’d like to book an appointment directly with Jessica Wang, you can reach her at the store at  778-628-7469

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{A big thank you to Jessica for taking the time to chat with us, and to Loblaw for welcoming us into their store. While this post is sponsored, all opinions are our own. We truly feel this is a program that all families could benefit from utilizing. All photos are mines, and the cold pressed juices were delicious!}

Tara Jensen
Tara is a parenting influencer based on the West Coast. With her full time career in health care, she focuses on green living, healthy family choices and encouraging families to live a fabulously frugal lifestyle. She lives on coffee, cuddles and post-its, generally in that order. When she isn’t working, she can be found outdoors exploring beautiful British Columbia with her family.