Ordering take out is satisfying, convenient, and easy. But with a picky eater on our hands, it can require some extra work.
Me -“Hey, you want Mexican for dinner?”
Husband -“Nah, how about Indian? I’ve been craving it.”
Me -“You order. I’ll start boiling some water.”
When we order take out, my husband and I understand the drill. We may be ordering out (meaning that I’m not slicing, sautéing, broiling, or whatever), but I will be boiling water for pasta. We have a picky eater on our hands, and he is stubborn like his dad (and mom).
Pasta solves everything.
He eats the standard kid items – pasta (obviously), PB&J, chicken nuggets, pizza, apples, bananas, and pancakes. He rarely eats other meals that I prepare for our family dinners, though. During the week, I cook at least four dinners. When it’s all ready, we sit down at the table to eat as a family. However, no matter what I prepare for dinner I always have pasta as a go-to. It’s the safe food that I know he will consume without a fight.
He didn’t start out that way, though. His first meal was homemade French onion soup. However, things have quickly gotten more simple (or hectic, for that matter) for his meals. Often times during dinner, I feel like a failure as a parent, and I have to remind myself that having a picky eater is not grounds for failing at parenthood.
Even though we have a picky eater, we can still pick our battles.
I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I battle with my four-year-old and two-year-old all day long. Come dinnertime, this mama is tired. Like I mentioned, my oldest is stubborn, but I’m not a mom who will send her babe to bed on an empty stomach. So before the pleading begins, I have pasta on the back burner (pun intended) for his dinner.
“Here, try some sweet potatoes.”
My husband and I will always offer other options besides pasta to our son. Sometimes, we even just put the other options on his plate. Depending on his mood and what the option is, your guess is as good as mine whether he’ll eat it. Often times, he ignores the foreign food on his plate. Sometimes, a mini-tantrum breaks out. On really rare occasions, however, he may lick or even consume the new item (#momwin). I suppose if we keep offering new foods, he’ll embrace it one day (fingers crossed).
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
In the not-so-distant past, my husband and I were on repeat mode, saying phrases like “Just take a bite” and “You gotta try it.” I’m still guilty of being a broken record, but I try to remember that I can only offer food and lead by example. If we offer not only different foods, but also model healthy eating habits, I believe that eventually he will get it.
With my two little boys and another baby on the way, I don’t have time to be a nag about every meal that my children eat. These sweet littles will turn into ravenous teenagers, who will likely eat me out of house and home. I welcome the days when they will ask for seconds and eat more than just pasta. Until that day arrives, I’ll just keep the water boiling for pasta of all shapes and sizes.