Parents seem to be very interested in what other kids are eating. I’m interested too, I love hearing about the good, the bad, and the ugly eaters. I was a bad eater as a kid. I was forced to eat foods I didn’t like because they were too saucy, too soft, too lumpy, or too whatever it was that day. Worse yet, I had to sit at the table until my plate was cleaned, by myself. This is no way to teach kids to eat. They say a food must be tasted many times, 20 or so, to acquire the taste. What I do for my kids is give them a decent amount of what I know they like. Then, for the new foods, I give them a little bit to try. If they like it, they can always have more. This really keeps the food waste down, and gives them a little bit of empowerment. It also keeps food interesting.
I really want my kids to eat well. Let me tell you, no one is starving around here. First off, I feed my two kids what I make for my husband and me. My son, “Occasional-J” is 3, and my daughter, “Incidental-E” is 1. Their food is portioned and cut as needed for their respective ages. Some of their breakfasts are simply a bowl of cereal or some yogurt with a fruit. Their lunches are the bigger meal of the day since they have play time throughout the day. Here are some breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Some are his, some are hers.
Middle left: carrot and spinach salad (neither really ate this), sweet pepper, chips and salsa, and a chicken and cheese quesadilla.
Lower left: cut cherry tomatoes (another food my son loves right now), broccoli, bratwurst, and buttered pasta.
Upper right: Sweet pepper, pineapple, pizza
Lower right: Peas, apple chicken sausage, buttered pasta, dill pickle, sweet pepper, and Campari tomato.
Upper left: toast, provolone cheese, blueberries, buttered pasta, beef ragu.
Lower left: Asparagus, Campari tomato, baked potato, grilled chicken drumstick meat.
Upper right: Egg and cheese omelet, avocado slices, Italian chicken sausage, raspberries.
Lower right: Poached lemon piccata cod, pineapple, brown rice with zucchini and avocado (this was some puree leftover from “Incidental-E’s” early eating stage that was in my freezer that I mixed with the rice), sweet pepper, and colby cheese.
Upper left: Banana, rhubarb cake (Gramma made this, it’s super healthy and tasty at the same time), toast with avocado, and a poached egg with onion and garlic.
Lower left: Apple chicken sausage, Muenster cheese, sweet pepper, brussel sprouts (I cooked these on the stove until soft with some garlic and onion), and potato.
Upper right: Pineapple, pasta with cheese, apple chicken sausage, dill pickle, peas.
Lower right: Cheddar Cheese, dill pickle, pepperoni, cherry tomato, dried apricot, sausage pizza.
These meals are not difficult, but do require my planning ahead of time. I make a menu based on what I have in the house. It takes about 30 minutes to make the full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu for the week. If I did’t make a menu, I would sit in front of the fridge or pantry looking like a deer in the headlights and maybe giving into making boxed mac and cheese. A little time every week is certainly worth it for me. While they are great eaters, “Occasional-J” has been on a bit of food strike lately, and “can’t eat”, and then will want to snack on chips and crackers. I tell him that I will not be making him anything else to eat and that he can not snack as he wants to. He does’t like this, but there has to be a line drawn. While I don’t make him sit with his food until he eats it (what toddler would really listen to these instructions!), I don’t give in to him either. “Incidental-E” however, is a bottomless pit of eating and will always (for now) clean her plate and reach for his uneaten food. So I have to watch her portions. This is the perfect time for her to try new foods and explore textures. I think this is important for prospective picky eaters. Maybe it will help them to be more willing to try new foods as they grow up as well.
Tell me about your good, bad, or ugly eaters (all in good fun, of course).