Picky Eater

Growing up I can remember many nights of sitting at the kitchen table all by myself. I would be at the table for hours just staring down my green beans. I would wish for them to disappear, push them around my plate so it seemed like I had taken a few bites, and wish our dog was an inside dog.  But none of those solutions really helped me. Eventually my Mom would come in all red faced and mad and tell me to just leave the kitchen. 

Back then I thought my parents were the toughest parents around. Forcing me to eat my vegetables and try new dishes. I never understood why they just couldn't let me eat what I wanted too. Now that I am a parent of a two and a half year old little girl, I would just like to say, " Sorry Mom and Dad." Call it pay back or just part of growing up, but my daughter is a bit of a picky eater as I was. 

But her picky eating is silly things and changes day by day. The kid won't eat spaghetti, grilled cheese, or a hotdog. Her mood can change with the day. One day she will try a grilled cheese sandwich and the next she will look at me like I am crazy. This makes meal planning a little challenging. I want my child to have a healthy meal and grow up strong. At the same time I don't want to be a short order cook either.

Reiggin and I have started to take the approach of allowing her to choose what she wants to eat for breakfast and lunch. Dinner she has to eat what we put in front of her or else go to bed without dinner. The going to bed without dinner at first was tough for me. I hated the idea of my child starving laying in bed dreaming of food. I quickly realized that I was being silly and that my child would eat when she was hungry. 

At lunch time today I asked Virginia what she would like to eat. She surprised me by saying a sandwich. I did my best to hold my excitement in for fear she would change her mind. I quickly grabbed out the ham, cheese, and bread. I kept the sandwich simple and even cut the crust off for her. I remember how my mom use to take cookie cutters and cut our sandwiches into fun shapes. 

At first Virginia just stared the sandwich down. Trying to figure out what she was suppose to do with this thing in front of her. Finally after some coaching and cutting the sandwich into squares and a mini photo session. 

Virginia ate more the half of her sandwich. I was screaming with joy and doing the happy dance all around my living room. It is little accomplishments like these that make being a mother awesome. 

I just hope that this continues and that Virginia will continue to try new things. So Moms please tell me how you handle your picky eaters.