Amelia with her food of choice.
You have such lofty goals as a new mommy. Eleven years ago I marveled at my brand new baby girl, she was so precious. Perfect in every way! And as the mother of this perfect child I would ensure she always ate healthy with lots of variety and fruits and vegetables. No daughter of mine would eat junk food or be one of those “picky eaters”
Three children later… how I have fallen!
As far as Amelia, my youngest, is concerned we are just happy if she is not playing with knives. My expectations as a mother are much more realistic now. Although, that idealistic mother is still in here somewhere, she rarely rears her head. She knows better. My motto as a mother has become “Choose your battles wisely”
As someone who has always battled weight, eating habits are a big concern of mine. You wouldn’t really know it because on the whole, my kids eating habits are pretty poor and they are really picky eaters. The three of them each have one main food staple that they love. My oldest would survive solely on McDonalds Chicken Nuggets. Even though McDonalds keeps insisting that they are really healthy, I have my doubts.
My middle daughter is all about the carbs. She adores plain pasta. Bone dry pasta without even a drop of butter. If it glistens, she will hand it back. Talk about the anti-Atkins! Her newest picky eater habit, which I feel compelled to share, is to take cheese off of pizza- which completely perplexes me. Cheese makes everything better! Who would take it off? I believe this move is not really about being picky but rather a show of solidarity for her good friend who has a dairy allergy. While I admire her loyalty, it makes me crazy! And who do you think eats the cheese that gets pulled off? Can you really blame me? It would be sinful to let good pizza cheese go to waste.
Then there is Amelia whose food of choice is Macaroni and Cheese. She will eat Macaroni and Cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And on many days she has. She doesn’t even like to frequent restaurants who do not serve this culinary masterpiece. We have been out to dinner where she has actually refused to eat because Macaroni & Cheese was not on the menu. All I can say is thank heavens for EasyMac.
Do I want her to eat better? Of course I do. I would like all of them to make better food choices. I just refuse to battle over meals. When I was in elementary school my best friend would only eat hamburgers from McDonalds. Seriously, that was all she would eat. Her mother was besides herself. I always remember she and my mother talking about it. I recall the pediatrician told my friends mother to let it go. At least she was eating and eventually she would grow out of it. I haven’t seen her in about 20 years, but I am sure she has expanded to other food groups by now.
Therefore, if Amelia wants to eat Mac & Cheese for breakfast, fine with me. In the beginning, I did protest and say no a lot. I would even beg her to eat something else. Then I began to question my motives. Why no? In a couple of hours I would let her eat it for lunch so what was the difference. It’s not like she wants to eat chocolate cake for breakfast. What was my reasoning? Was I resisting Mac & Cheese because it is not a cereal or a waffle or because it is not labeled a breakfast food? I had to let go of my notions of what is a breakfast food. I had to expand that category to include mac & cheese. I am pretty sure that she won’t grow up eating EasyMac for the rest of her life. Like my mother always says, “This too shall pass.”
She has to get sick of it eventually…