Good morning, this is Dana from over at The Back Cover, filling in for Lindsey today.
I’m more of a wannabe cook than a real one. I have tons of cookbooks, and I’m always eager to buy more. I went to the Green Valley Book Fair last weekend and had to force myself away from the cookbook section. Otherwise, I would have ended up with a book on how to make beautiful cakes with fondant, a book about how to cook with wine, a book on baking and several other scrumptious looking books, that would be put on a shelf and never used.
The problem isn’t that I don’t want to cook. If I had the time, I’d make a gourmet feast for every meal. And yes, time is a factor, but the biggest reason I don’t cook is that I have a 4-year-old daughter.
Many of you are nodding your heads knowing exactly what that means. I could probably end this post right here. But for those of you who don’t understand let me explain.
My almost perfect daughter is extremely picky when it comes to eating. It’s very frustrating to fix a nice dinner and have to throw away most of it. Some would say, let her eat what she wants, she’ll grow out of this phase, but I just can’t consciously let her eat butter noodles, frozen pizza, and/or Pop Tarts for every meal. Okay, so she does eat Pop Tarts for breakfast every morning, and Monday when she was sick I made her butter noodles, but that’s where I draw the line.
It’s not like I make her liver for dinner. I’d understand if she turned her nose up at that, but I make things that I loved as a kid. Come on, who doesn’t like au gratin potatoes?
I took her to Red Robin for lunch. She ordered spaghetti, which in most families is a staple if you have kids. She said she couldn’t swallow it because of the green stuff. The green stuff as she called it was the basil and oregano. Sigh.
The one rule I have is that if I make dinner and she chooses not to eat it, I won’t make her something different. If I did who knows how many meals I’d have to make a night—she’s been known to ask for something and then once she has it in front of her decide she doesn’t like it anymore.
Every night turns into a battle. She doesn’t care too much for sweets, so I can’t bribe her to eat a healthy dinner with a not so healthy dessert. And I feel guilty if I let her leave the table without eating anything. So we end up bargaining over bites.
I have learned some tricks though. One is patience. If I introduce a vegetable a little at a time, she’ll gradually do better with each meal she sees the vegetable on her plate. I did this with broccoli and she now loves raw broccoli and ranch. A little too much ranch, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Another trick is to give her a night where she gets to decide what we’re having for dinner. I do this as a reward for eating, not all, but most of what’s on her already small portioned plate. It’s a compromise, but it works.
What are your tricks? Do you have any no fail kid friendly healthy recipes? I’d love all the help I can get.