This is the journal I am keeping about our “health(ier) eating boot camp.” Feel free to read along! When referring to my kids I’m just using their first initials. N- is a 12 year old boy, R- is a 10 (almost 11) year old girl, and L- is a 4 1/2 year old girl.
Monday, June 30 (written on Tuesday)
Yesterday was such a busy day! But I was able to make some good observations regarding our meals and my kids.
At breakfast we had “breakfast sandwiches” made from english muffins and fried eggs. Then we each had a fresh plum as our fruit and a cup of milk. It was interesting to see who willingly (and not-so-willingly) ate what.
R- ate everything without much problem.
L- did not want the english muffin or the egg and it took some coaxing to get her to eat her three bites. But she happily ate the entire plum. I think she even said, “Oh, I love plums!” when I pulled them out of the fridge.
N- on the other hand, ate the egg sandwich with no problem, but was very resistant to the plum. He told me that he’d never even tried one before (which I didn’t realize because I do buy them sometimes). So he took three very small bites and made a face.
At lunch I served the chicken noodle soup (whole wheat noodles), home-made whole wheat bread (bread maker), and fresh cucumbers from the garden.
N- and R– both loved the bread and asked for second servings of it.
But L- didn’t eat very much of it. She doesn’t seem to like bread very much most of the time no matter if it’s wheat or white. On the other hand, she couldn’t get enough of the soup (although she did pass over the vegetables in it, so it was the noodles and the broth that she loved). When I put the little bit that was left-over away she said, “Can we have the rest of the chicken noodle soup tomorrow?”
I had to modify our snack because we went to the pool in the afternoon. I didn’t want to take yogurt with us, so instead we took grapes, celery with peanut butter, trail mix, and a few radishes. Our pool doesn’t let people eat in the pool area, so we actually had to go outside of it for the snack. They also do not have regular breaks where the kids are required to get out of the pool. This affects snacking at the pool because it makes it a more formal affair than it would be if otherwise. So, they did not want to get out the pool for a snack break until it was time to go…and I was fine with that.
But N- got tired of swimming before the girls and came to where I was saying how hungry he was. I told him that we weren’t supposed to eat by the pool, but if he was really so hungry I didn’t see where eating some peanut butter celery would be so terrible (since it wouldn’t leave crumbs). But he would have nothing to do with that idea because he doesn’t like celery — even though he was obviously very hungry. So he had to wait.
When we all were together, L- and I were the only ones to eat the celery. She didn’t eat much, but I was proud of her for willingly eating some.
R- tried the radishes, but said she didn’t like them much. She declined the celery and peanut butter when I offered it to her.
Everyone ate the grapes, and L- was wishing I had brought more.
And everyone loved the trail mix — and were definitely wishing that I had brought more. I didn’t insist that anyone try three bites since we were in public and I knew they were going to put up resistance.
Dinner was changed to sloppy joes because it was a quick option after being at the pool.
This L- was the only one that had trouble eating. She cried even at the idea. When I called her to dinner, she hid in her room and wouldn’t come until I told her she would have to sit in time-out if she didn’t. I told her to just eat three bites and then she could be done, but she made such a fuss. She said, “Do I have to?” I thought about it for a minute and said, “No, you do not have to. But we are having the Oreo Cookies that you picked out for dessert, and in order to have some you need to eat three bites. But it’s your choice.” This took the pressure off, but she was more motivated. I then said, “it tastes like ketchup,” and she looked at me with sudden interest. “Yeah, sloppy joes is just ground beef (which she likes), ketchup, brown sugar, and a few other things. (This is true for my recipe). She then picked out the three tiniest bites and ate them. Success!!
So, that’s the run-down of my day. The reason I think this is interesting enough to write about is because it shows so clearly what I am (and maybe all parents are) up against. At every meal someone doesn’t like something. It’s difficult to keep up with and disheartening to be faced with sour faces and flat out refusals so constantly. Feeding a family is a big job! But it’s good for me to stop and think about what each person likes and dis-likes rather than just clumping them all together in my mind.
Any thoughts and comments are, as always, welcome! I’d love to hear other people’s experiences and insights!