I’m sure that I’m not the first parent to wonder how to get their kids to eat a wider variety of meals. And I know there is no right or wrong way to ensure your children eat healthier.
But here is how it works at home for us:
I am the cook of 99% of dinners at home. I basically walk in the door from work and either fire up the stove or turn on the oven.
We rarely sit down and all eat together. We work it so that the kids are fed first, and then while they’re in the bath or shower with my wife supervising, I try to fix something ‘more adult’ for us to eat.
Generally speaking, this system seems to work for our family. The main dinner problem comes down to one person – my fussy son.
When he was a baby he used to eat stacks of veggies, but now, he will not touch anything that resembles something that came out of the ground. Sometimes he’ll have a carrot stick, but that’s about it.
While my daughter Charli will basically eat anything, I can’t seem to get my boy to eat his veggies. I’ve tried everything I can imagine – cutting them up into funny shapes, hiding them, giving them silly names, but the only thing that works is mashing them and sneaking them in bolognaise.
He is a pasta and spaghetti eating monster. He just loves the stuff. If I think he’s had a few nights of small dinners, I’ll make lasagne or spag bol, and it just blows me away how much of it he can put away.
I’ve got about 10 go-to dinners for him to rotate when he’s being extra fussy. And I suppose 10 isn’t too bad. At least it’s not chicken nuggets and chips every night.
On the days when I try something new and we end up back on the sausages for dinner or have one of those meals when the food is simply pushed around the plate rather than actually eaten, I find comfort in knowing that dessert normally consists of fruit.
The request for something to eat normally comes at 8pm, right when I want him to go to sleep. And it’s usually for an apple or grapes.
That I can cope with. No request for ice cream, just an apple.
Perhaps I just need to wait for his palette to change a little as he grows. As much as it gets to me and annoys me that he’s not eating a well-rounded set of dinners, we have to look at the positives.
He does eat a lot of fruit.
We don’t give the kids many takeaway dinners.
And, hey, at least both kids are eating something.
On another subject, for another issue, it’s 10:35pm as I’m writing this and my little, not yet three-year-old, Charli is still wide awake.
One battle at a time I guess…