I spend about an hour every week meal planning. Then I grocery shop with a 1 and 2 year old in tow, for another hour. I make approximately 4-6 meals in a week which likely takes 4 hours to prepare. I clean up dishes for probably 3 hours per week. That is 8 hours of meal-stuff. And, I’m writing this while my 2 year old is having dinner, and trying to convince me to “let me down. go play.” We are at 20 minutes now – and not a single bite has entered his mouth. Sorry. Correction – one bite was placed in the mouth, gagged upon, then I made him spit it out before he hurled (yep – this happens). I ordered pizza tonight – because it’s about the only thing that everyone in the family will eat. What is wrong with this kid?? PIZZA. Little does he know, when he’s older, he’ll force himself to not sit down and eat an entire pie. But for now, he’s fallen into the picky toddler trap. WE’VE fallen into the picky toddler trap. Is it true that it’s parent induced? If so, why do SO many kids give us hell at dinner?
My sister was blessed with a good eater. Her daughter’s favorite food has been sushi since like 6 years old. I’m beyond envious. I remember making those statements when I was pregnant, or when my first-born just started solid foods. “I WILL NOT TOLERATE A PICKY EATER.” And here we are today, rotating about 4 meals that are hit-or-miss, depending on how the stars align that day.
My 1 year old is a good eater. If it makes it to his mouth. I think this is pretty typical of babies. Willing to try anything. Not hard to please. But – the tides turn. When? Why? I almost snicker when I have friends who speak so highly of their baby who eats everything! And, I don’t have much hope for my youngest either. I make a meal for my husband, myself, and the youngest. And the toddler, well, he gets whatever he didn’t have for breakfast or lunch that day. He too used to be a good baby, and eat what I made him. Hell, you’ve seen me blog boastfully his pictures eating veggie quiche and turkey meatballs.
Gone. Are. The. Days.
Every so often, I get a surge of positivity (or possibly guilt). I buy new things that my friend’s kids “love” or a make new recipe from Pinterest which hides veggies in a chocolate cake or something equally as ridiculous. Then, my toddler, craps on my dreams. He may have an enthusiastic bite or two (and the rest goes in the garbage), but most days, he won’t even put it in his mouth. Son, you own me $14 worth of kale in that chocolate cake! I become deflated and bitter about meals again. We go back to the rotation because it seems to make us all happier.
I’ve read a million articles about what to and not to do – mostly when I have those June Cleaver, positive kind of moments. I’m pretty sure I’m a mom that would be judged and scolded in that new Similac commercial. Food has always been my #1 worry, with both kids. Formula vs breast milk? How much? How often? The right balance? Too many preservatives? Not enough calories? And so on, and so on. And still, to this moment, I’m worried that my son has not had enough to eat before bed because he refused to eat his dinner. But, I can proudly state he will eat any fruit under the sun. And loves yogurt and almonds. So, if he likes to mix a chicken nugget in there with it – SO, FRIGGIN, WHAT?!??