Silly me, I’ve been treating them like children

by | Mar 6, 2009 | Food, Parenting | 2 comments

As you know, I have dinner issues. One ongoing source of frustration is when I cook something that should be a big hit by kid standards, like macaroni and cheese, and it is rejected. This past week I made spaghetti and meatballs, and neither boy wanted any part of them. Henry ate the spaghetti without sauce. It was at that point that I decided to forget trying to make kid meals for everyone. Considering they’re fine with, say, tofu stir fry, why have I been trying to please them with spaghetti and meatballs? From now on, I’m making what I want to eat.

Day One of this plan was a perfect example. I made Roast Chicken with Carrots, Onions, and Prunes (photo at right), which should send your Average Child screaming just from the name alone. My boys took one look and declared, “YUM!” and ate it all. (I would also add a YUM of my own. Somehow the ingredients all work perfectly both in taste and in texture and you will obsessively try to spear everything on your fork to get it all in one mouthful. Also, I started to make it the day before, and then Dave reminded me that we had scallops I needed to use. So I will also say that this is a recipe where you can prepare everything and then dump it into a container in your fridge, let it sit for a day, and then throw it into the roasting pan and into the oven, and it comes out more than fine.)

Last night I made Soba and Tofu in Ginger Broth, and again the boys didn’t bat an eye but just tucked right in to their plates and slurped it all up.

The embarassing thing is just how long it has taken me to realize this. You’d think I would be able to pull out of the fog long enough to make a simple observation about what is getting eaten. I think the problem is that I keep reading from this Parenting Your Regular Kid manual they give you in the hospital, and I haven’t made the switch yet to Parenting Your Oddball.

I should have at least realized that they eat adult food when I brought Eli in for his 3-year appointment last week, and the doctor and I had this conversation:

Doctor: How does he eat?
Julie: Great!
Doctor: How about protein? What does he like for protein?
Julie: Protein. Let’s see. Eggs, cheese, chicken nuggets. Meatballs. Hot dogs. Any meat, really.
Doctor: Good.
Julie: Yogurt. Milk! Lots of milk. Tofu.
Doctor: Great!
Julie: Sardines, salmon…
Doctor: What? Seriously?
Julie: And peanut butter.
Doctor: Eli! Good boy!


  1. sutswana

    Not to be all Anne Mahle-obsessed, but one of my favorite articles of hers was this one: “At dinner, spare the choices, don’t spoil the child,”
    (knowing me this did not create a link but you can cut and paste).

    …commented the mother whose girls frequently wind up eating yogurt and cereal for dinner. But at least we cook what we want!

  2. Julie

    “Spare the choices, don’t spoil the child.” Exactly. Why didn’t I figure it out earlier, though? I am so over meat and potatoes.


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