" I want to cut out processed food for health and budget reasons. The challenge is, I don't
know what I like. I only intend to feed 2 (just me and max), and the little bugger is
incredibly picky. He pretty much only likes pizza and garlic bread. Also if you could
enlighten me on how to increase his appetite, itd be very much appreciated"
Okay! Let's just dive right in. :)
I'm going to be briefly touching on how to cut out processed foods in an easy way to begin with, and mostly focusing on little Max in this post. The main thing is: Work with what you've got.
You say he only likes pizza? Let me show you how to make it healthy, unprocessed, and fun for him to encourage eating more, and trying something new. My plan for you is to make your own pizza, and get Max involved in the process.
I am no chef, and therefor do not write my own recipes from scratch, but here are a couple for both an easy pizza crust, and sauce. By making your own, you're cutting out preservatives, and the likelihood that something silly like High Fructose Corn Syrup will end up in your dinner. Yuck. Also, I have a feeling that these recipes are much lower in fat and calories than your average frozen or take-out pizza will be. This website conveniently lists both of these facts at the bottom of the recipe. :)
So! You start with your homemade dough and sauce, and sprinkle on some low-fat cheese. Then, set out a few different kinds of veggies, a couple that Max has had, and maybe one or two that he hasn't. You can even give the option of adding a lean meat such as grilled chicken, cut into strips. Next, you let Max pick out what he wants on his pizza, so you're giving him the choice, but he's still choosing between only healthy items, and hopefully he will be brave enough to even try something new. And, you said you're not sure of what you like, so this is a great opportunity for you to find out something about yourself, as well.
Make sure he's excited about the fact that not only are you having pizza for dinner (his favorite) BUT he's being ssoooo helpful and getting help mommy in the kitchen! Kids love to get involved in the cooking process, and at this stage after you cut everything up, he can easily apply the toppings to the pizza. He will be so proud to know he helped, and more excited about actually eating the dinner he helped to create.
Plus, by trying to incorporate new veggies (and letting him decide which ones it is), you're helping Max to expand his palette. Remember this, though: It takes 8 to 10 exposures to something for a child to truly know whether they like it or not. If he tries spinach once and says ew, don't give up! 7 more times times could be what it takes for him to find a new favorite vegetable.