So it appears we’re in a bit of a food rut over at Casa Danielson. Our boys used to be fantastic eaters back when I made all their pureed baby food and it was so much easier to know exactly how much fruits/veggies/cereal they were getting at each meal. I (sort of) miss those days.
Now, it’s not uncommon for the boys to have 1-2 just ok meals per day which is disheartening because they are (and always have been) on the smaller end of the scales. I feel like our “go-to” meals are working less and less. I hate resorting to less than wholesome foods (ahem, Mac ‘N Cheese) but I can’t bear to let them go hungry. Luckily, the boys love all kinds of fruit and they actually like corn, peas and sweet potatoes which are always stocked and ready to go. I love the steam bags for frozen veggies, it makes my life a lot easier. We struggle with healthy proteins so scrambled eggs has become a regular breakfast to make up for it. I’ve even resorted to peanut butter on a spoon and calling it Peanut Butter Lollipops just so they’d get some protein during a meal.
I think my main issue is each meal is hit or miss. Something they may have loved only a couple weeks prior now gets pushed away in disgust. It seems the more time I spend making their food the less they’ll like it. PB&J? Gobble it up. Homemade Hawaiian meatballs with pineapples served over brown rice? No thanks! It’s so frustrating! Maybe they’re not picky eaters, but rather, moody eaters… is that a thing? If not, then I just made it up.
Oh, and if by miracle of miracles the boys are wolfing down their dinner and somehow manage to clean their plate before we can put a second helping down then all hell breaks loose! Well, not really, but their momentum practically goes away. Now that they are really good in telling us what they want I’ve started to ask them preemptively if they want more toast, for example, before they’ve finished their first slice. “Yes!” they’ll both exclaim and guess who looks like a dummy when the fresh toast comes out and both boys have no intention of eating it at all. Sometimes one of the boys won’t try something because they other one already did and didn’t like it. It’s as if they’re saying “Mom, we’re identical twins so if my brother doesn’t like it then I’m not even going to bother!” Constantly navigating these quirks makes it feel like I’m trying to dismantle a bomb rather than serve my kids dinner. So frustrating!
I see lots of pins on Pinterest of these beautifully prepared toddler meals where there’s dinosaur shaped cheese slices and some fancy sun-dried tomato puree lava coming out of a sculpted mashed potato volcano. Say what?!?! Am I the only one who looks at that and thinks…. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
The boys reluctantly tried a smoothie this morning and seemed to like it so now I know that I can put some fruit (and maybe some veggies) in a blender with Greek yogurt and juice and have a healthy breakfast or snack on hand. I also made a turkey and cheese quesadilla today for their lunch and they did pretty good so there’s lots of filling options that can be stuffed between two tortillas.
Feeding toddlers can be frustrating. A battle of wills might result in some mostly empty tummies until their next meal and I really try my hardest not to let it come to that. On the other hand, I can’t turn into a short-order cook that allows a dozen different foods on their plates in the hopes that they’ll eat something. I realize that this is just a phase and won’t last forever. Someday when I’m spending hundreds of dollars on groceries for my ravenous teenagers, I’ll think back to this post and laugh.
So how about it…. what are the go-to meals you served your toddlers during their picky stage?