It was a little bit while back when a most obvious thought to me was made clear that it was not obvious to everyone else. I got asked the question: how on earth do you get your kids to eat everything you are making all the time?
Well, I don’t.
I so hope I never gave off that illusion. Yes what I often make is consumed by greater than 50% off my household but many things are not. I should also make it clear that I look at the 50% rate as a success, not a failure. I’m viewing the whole what my kids will eat as sort of a ‘all in due time mentality.’ Try it. It takes the stress off.
My kids are not eating shrimp tacos. They are not eating bowls of soup. They are not eating lemony quinoa with cous cous and parmesan.
Do I wish that they were? Of course. My goodness how easy and adventurous life would be in my kitchen. Kids, let’s make grilled eggplant today and top it with some burrata and serve with some crusty bread. No. That is not what happens. My husband won’t even touch the lemony quinoa so I’m working with a pretty basic spectrum in my household.
And there are nights when I truly don’t even bother. Like the photo above, for example. L was dying for a burger yet shrimp tacos were on the menu. Because I am such a
nice insane mom I got in my car and drove to Culvers (truth: it was more because I didn’t want to hear complaining at dinner time) and grabbed him a burger and B some chicken and slapped it on a plate next to some veggies and chips. Oh wait, the little one didn’t even have any veggies. He had chicken and Sun Chips. The epitome of health, did you know?
My husband ate shrimp tacos.
I’m watching carbs when I can (hello summer), so I made a shrimp bowl.
It was a messy mishap of everyones particularities for that evening. We ate on the floor and not one person complained and it was kind of sort of heavenly.
There is magic in that from time to time, you know. Letting it go. And that’s just the thing. Some days we do just that. We let it go.
And some days we don’t. I will make a dinner that I know has a much higher success rate so that all our plates generally look the same and everyone is happy.
But I’m not going to stop making quinoa salads. Or zucchini ribbon salads. Or honey and thyme roasted carrots. Call me naive, but I’m convinced I’m shaping my boys to be better eaters simply by cooking these types of recipes around them. And eating them. And loving them. They are watching us, you know. They may not be ready to taste but they are watching. They know their mama loves vegetables and salad and fresh fish and all that wholesome good for you stuff.
But they also know she loves her cookies.
And that, my friends, is where the balance is at. Nothing too extreme. Nothing too crazy healthy. Nothing too crazy unhealthy. In case you hadn’t put it together, we don’t do fad diets. There is much to be said for a Culvers burger one day but the best grilled chicken the next. For a milk shake as a special treat. For cucumbers and carrots as a snack. The pendulum is constantly swinging back and forth leaning never too far one way. I’m hopeful it’s in this consistent sense of balance that I’m creating some boys that will continue to grow into well rounded eaters.
Now, only if I can fix my husband. 😉
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I was fully expecting a Mom post this Friday and this was sort of….refreshing? Love the change-up and honest post. 🙂
Tia @ Good Genes recently posted…Happy Little Things : May
I think it’s maybe because when you talk about starting to make a recipe you say “this is a family favorite” so I too assumed the boys ate those dishes too – I think it was a crockpot dish that had chicken, thick canned tomatoes and olives and I thought “wow, I can’t believe the boys eat that!”
Loved this post
Love this! I firmly believe that there is too much stress in life to stress over mealtime fights. I’m lucky that my girls aren’t picky and we generally all eat the same meal – just different pieces of it. Sauces on the side, uncooked veggies for Jess, extra cheese and ketchup if necessary, etc. But there are definitely many weeknights where the kids get veggie burgers and pasta/beans and we eat after they’re asleep. They’ll survive just like we all did!
Awesome post!! So true. Growing healthy eaters does not happen overnight!