Tuesday, November 17, 2009

dinner dilemmas

Is dinner a battle at your house? Are you stuck in a food rut with your kids? We are. I'm tired of cooking the same things. I am tired of cooking new things and only super dad and I eating them. I don't know where I went wrong.

From the get go, I pureed my kids food. I have offered them all kinds of table food from early on. I expose them to numerous things, yet they still only like "kid" food for the most part. It is so frustrating. With bubbie, it was very definite when he quit eating whatever was put in front of him. I remember being on bed rest with Sass and he was just over two. We put his plate in front of him and he politely handed it back to us and told us "no thank you"! This was a child who ate EVERYTHING! He would eat peas and carrots by the bowl full, couldn't devour a sweet potato fast enough, loved all fruits. Sass was always picky. The girl would never eat any meat besides chicken (and that is still debatable), but still she use to eat more than she does now and I think a lot of that is because she follows Bubbie's lead.

I'm not a short order cook though. Whatever I prepare for dinner is what they are served. I do always put some sort of fruit on their plate so at least if they don't eat their dinner they will get a serving of fruit and a glass of milk in their tummies.

Tonight I made chili and baked potatoes. I put butter and cheese on their potatoes. You would think I served them a plate full of bugs. Sass would have nothing to do with any of it. She ate her peaches and that was it. Bubbie did take a few bites, though amidst a flood of tears. Who knew a cheesy potato could make someone cry?!

What are you tricks? How do you get your kids to try new things and not fear new foods? (and just for the record, dips don't work with my kids. they don't even really care for ketchup! crazy!).

I would love your feed back, your tried and true tricks!

I will leave you with a list of food that they actually will eat.

string cheese
peanut butter and honey (s will eat jelly, b won't)
grilled cheese
black bean and cheese quesadillas
pumpkin pancakes
regular pancakes
muffins ( pumpkin and blueberry are faves)
cheeseburgers (b only)
turkey and cheese (b only)
hotdogs (b only)
ravioli (s only)
mac and cheese
mandarin oranges (s only)
apple slices
pears (s only)
chip and cheese dip
cereal w/ milk
cheese pizza
oatmeal (s only)
baked beans
sweet potato fries (baked)
meatballs (b only)

I try to make all these things as healthy as possible such as using whole grain breads and pastas. Looking at the list I guess they eat a little more than I thought but I would still like to get them to try more. I would love to get them to try soups, more pastas, obviously more vegetables (umm.. I mean any vegetables). Mostly, I want them to not fear trying new things. I don't care if they dislike things, I just want them to not have a fear of trying new foods. Give me your feedback!

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Jon and Melissa said...

Sorry for the novel but nutrtion is not a quick anwser.HAHA!!!

The books in my kitchen library are sneaky chef, deceptively delicious. We use a lot of the reci’s just to ump the nutrition values on some of the normal things we eat. Sneaky chef is my fave. The granola bars reci the kids gobble up. I don’t think I could buy boxed granola bars b/c when you eat homemade and healthy there is no comparison. Even the organic ones we used to buy.

My kids rarely eat HFCS or trans fats. I read all labels and try real hard to keep their diet clean and pretty close to the real state of food that it came in. A good diet relates to a healthy immune system too. Easton was a picky eater as a toddler part of it was b/c he was on a dairy free diet due to his ears for about a yr. But now he has some dairy since he did not have a true allergy we found out. B/c I was sorta a short order cook w/ him. I decided w/ Makenlee when she stated eating table foods that she would eat what was served. She does. She is an AWESOME eater. Plus I made all her baby food so she knew what food was supposed to taste like. I only did that ½ way with Easton. There is so much research on kids who eat a clean diet and how good of eaters they are. Kids palates are adapted by what they eat.

My kids eat what is served to them. We have a 1 bite rule. They must try it or they then can be excused from dinner. Dinner is not a battle in our home. It used to be when it was just E. I was a 1st time Mom. But now I am a vet. I am not going to let a 4 yr old or 2 yr old be the boss. We also don’t bribe them to eat. They need to be taught what we eat. Just b/c you eat you don’t get a treat…Make sense!! If you buy healthy food they have to eat it. Remember they are the kids and not buying the groceries you are.

Just like we train our kids up in how to act or have appropriate behavior. Jon and I believe we are training their bodies to be healthy and strong. The proof is my kids are rarely sick and they have healthy strong immune systems. They have been around a lot of stuff now that Easton is in preschool and I work at Children's hosp but E had a one day tummy bug and Makenlee an EI this whole yr. I attribute it to the chiro, good diet and the supplements and vitamins we have the kids on.

My kids now even when asked, Do you want blah blah and it is not healthy. They will say No. Their little bodies know and it gives them tummyaches. Easton has maybe had McD’s maybe 3 times in his life. Makenlee never. Ask E if he likes it and he says, “NO way. McD’s is gross.” How cool that my 4 yr old knows he should not eat there. Now Makenlee who has never eaten there chimes, "Mcdonalds is icky." B/c big bro says it.

I also have read a lot of nutrition books. By far the best books are
The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood ,
The Family Nutrition Book
All are written by Dr. William Sears.
I wholeheartedly believe in his nutrition philosophy and pretty much follow it for our family. I actually went to a nutrition put on by his daughter in law b/c I wanted more info on it.

We do try and say they eat well 80% of the time and 20% is the b-day party, class party, etc. So they are not deprived of a cupcake here and there.

I would ck out those books they are a wealth of ideas. I have found some of these books at the public library.

If you have anymore ?? let me know.

I post a lot of my reci's and twist on foods on frugalissafinds.com under reciepes, breakfast, lunch or dinner. Also the other thing I do is change it up. I started making pizza bagels and rolling bannanas in sprinkles to make them "pretty" for Makenlee when she stopped eating banannas. Now she goobles them up. It helps me get out of a rut and it presents the food differently to the kids.

Morgan said...

I was JUST thinking of posting about this today. So funny! I think I might still have to. We have the exact same thing going on in our house. I make us healthy, fresh, whole foods, my kids are exposed to new foods all the time and, yet, they are mac and cheese kids!!

We've fought with them, threatened, told them they could only have that food for every meal until they ate it, forced them to take a bite (which resulted in gagging and even throwing up once), and finally we've just given up. We put the food on their plate, so they're exposed to it, but I'll give them as much as they want of whatever else is on their plate (I always try to make something I know they like). Judah is getting (slowly) less picky, so we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although, Samuel is very much still very picky, picky. I think it's normal. I remember being picky as a kid and now I love everything! :)

Anonymous said...

Food is the only things kids have any control over.You can't make them eat, but eventually they get hungary.Try cooking and pureeing fresh vegetables and adding as a sauce

georgiagirl said...

Hey - me again... What reference material did you use for making your own baby food? Tess is going to start solids this weekend and I was going to make a bunch of homemade food and freeze it for the next month when she'll be ready for something other than rice cereal.

greenkiddo said...

check out www.wholesomebabyfood.com, great reference for what foods to feed when and how to puree foods. Also there is a great book called Super baby food that you can get anywhere like borders! have fun!