We’ve established from the very beginning of my Munchkin Meals musings that MacKenna is by far NOT the best eater on the planet. Far, far from it. Even as a toddler, she is still extremely picky and, let’s just say, stubborn about what she does and does not want to eat.
Over time, we have started giving in to her pickiness more and more. Mostly because we were just tired of fighting her on our meals. Dinner together used to be our favorite time of the day, but in order to make that time “family time”, MacKenna’s meals have become much more routine and with much less variety.
Living with my parents has sort of exacerbated the problem. It has nothing to do with them really, but again, in order to avoid a full-on toddler tantrum, we seem to be giving in to her desires. It wasn’t until this past weekend when my mom told me she was surprised we let her eat so many sweets that it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Those of you who know me well know that I am a very healthy eater, filling up on fruits and veggies in most of my meals, but that I always have room for dessert (hence the basis of my blog name). Up until about a year ago, MacKenna very rarely had dessert. It would have to be a special occasion for her to have dessert. Now, it is an every night thing. It ranges from M&Ms to cookies to yogurt with Ovaltine and sprinkles mixed in (when we decide to be on the healthy side of things). It was a habit I never wanted my child to get in to because I didn’t want her to be too picky.
I’m not proud of this by any means. While I absolutely LOVE seeing her face light up when she gets a treat, she is no longer eating her meals well. I’m not sure these things have anything to do with each other, but I know that it is definitely not helping. *sigh* Parenting at it’s finest right there, folks.
So, here is the new plan. Dinner is the priority. I’m still OK with her eating chocolate cereal for breakfast because she usually doesn’t just eat that – she usually drinks a smoothie in addition as well as some other healthier breakfast foods. Lunch is at the babysitter’s and is hardly ever an issue. But, dinner is rough. Our standards are quesadillas, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese because we know she will eat these things. She usually gets blueberries or apples in addition which she will eat (although sometimes we have to add some peanut butter to the apples to get her to eat them). But, I really want to expand her food repetoir.
So, last night, I made bean tacos for dinner. Similar to her quesadillas, but with beans in addition to the cheese and some avocado. She happily ate all of her avocado but took one bite of the taco and was done with it. *sigh*
So, dinner turned into carrots with hummus and a hot dog. She ate 2 carrots and 2 bites of the hot dog with ketchup. She asked for “cake” (chocolate yogurt with sprinkles) but told her she couldn’t have it since she didn’t eat well. We did give her some fruit snacks before bed though, so 1 step forward, 2 steps back.
It’s a work in progress. My goal this summer is to get her eating the meals that we are eating. She does like some healthy foods, thank goodness, but I want those to be the norm. I will continue to lead by example and introducing those foods to her with the hope that maybe she will eat more like her mama. A mama can dream, right?