Dot is a picky eater. Her 4th birthday is just around the corner and I tell myself it’s just a phase and remind myself that I, too, could not be persuaded to keep an open mind where things I thought I didn’t like were concerned. When I was her age…and until I was about sixteen :/
In the past year to eighteen months she has definitely gotten pickier, slowly whittling down her options. She is not horribly picky. Neither is she at all, ever, open to anything new. Her mainstays are:
- Breakfast: cereal, bagels or toast with cream cheese or peanut butter, pancakes, bacon or some sausage, yogurt.
- Lunch: some soup or some occasions; sandwiches (she recently decided to add jelly to her peanut butter sandwiches) sometimes turkey or ham, tuna, occasionally some kind of wrap. “Make your own sandwiches” which is usually ham, cheddar cheese and saltines. “Sammy” which is code for a salmon patty from Costco.
- Dinner: Often something off the lunch list. Sometimes “Make your own pizzas” which is the Boboli mini ones from Costco (she likes mozzarella cheese and Canadian bacon) or Mickey Chicken Nuggets. Dora or Princess Spaghettios osed to be a big favorite but I recently got her to admit she doesn’t actually ever eat them and donate her last can to the local food shelter. She likes specific mac’n’cheese boxes too but it’s very hit and miss.
- Fruit: apples, pears, grapes, cherries, berries, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, rarely bananas.
- Veggies: carrots, a brief fling with celery, claims cucumbers but I’ve yet to see it, once gobbled up some of my spinach, has been trying cilantro from the garden, will drink V-8.
I know we’ve got it easier than most. It could be worse. But if she comes home and sees I’m making dinner she will immediately request something different. And stick to it. And cry about it. Tantrums ensue and dinnertime becomes miserable.
So what the hell did I slave away in the kitchen for?
Sometimes we give her something different willingly–usually if I’ve made something extra spicy like a curry. But this easily becomes a habit and it’s a hard one to break. Something that’s becoming clear as she gets older. And now with M&M eating, and me and Tony on somewhat different pages…how many meals need be prepared each day?! I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.
Tonight I roasted my first whole chicken! I’m prone to picking rotisserie ones up from the grocery store and have recently been experimenting with using the whole carcass in leftovers, stir-frys, soups, and to make chicken stock. I decided this week it was time to man up and cook the bird myself.
It was surprisingly easy. I followed this so-simple-it’s-silly recipe from Everyday Paleo and it was less than an hour and a half, start to finish (though clean up and stock making, well that’s a different story) before a gorgeous, deliciously aromatic bird sat in the roasting pan on my stove.
At first I thought it turned out a bit too crispy but I ended up really, really loving the crispy almost-burnt skin. Mmmmm, so good. When I was picking the meat off the carcass after dinner, way too much found it’s way into my mouth 😉
Anyway, Dot comes home as I’m finishing up. Says she doesn’t want any chicken. I say she just needs to have some on her plate. She hollers back that she will
Throw it then and never eat chicken AGAIN!
That’s actually a pretty typical response these days. We go back and forth a bit and I concede. I fucking hate when I end up eating alone and Tony ends up eating cold food because she throws a tantrum about dinner. Hate hate hate.
So she sits down to eat. Daddy is feeding M some yams and applesauce. I am filling our plates while Dot jabbers on about how she’ll try chicken tomorrow. (FYI: she likes chicken. She eats it somewhat regularly and in the past has loved it) Dot sees me take a bite of a drumstick and changes her tune.
Can I have some now?
Oh my god. I kind of freeze. Don’t wanna screw this up.
I bring her over a drumstick I pretty well mangled trying to carve the damn thing. She tries it and happily munches away commenting on how good the “skinny part” is and even asks for more. I’m somewhat shocked and definitely awed. Even confused. I was feeling defeated for giving in to her and yet…it did worked out in my favor. Without the tears. Without the screaming. Hmmmm.
Good lord my child is stubborn. But at least she ate some chicken.
This was my dinner plate: chicken, garlic mashed cauliflower (so, so, so good!), sautéed rainbow chard with zucchini and onion. And even the husband ate it 🙂