Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
2 years, 2 months.
After you bought groceries by swiping Mommy’s expired debit card on your high chair, you proceeded to bring a box of Annie’s macaroni and cheese to your Thomas the Train play table, along with two plates and two spoons.
“I make Jack and Daddy dinner,” you casually proclaimed.
You shook the closed orange box upside down and stirred the invisible pasta into a plate, then served me.
I ended up having seconds, then thirds.
To you, dinner means Annie’s whole wheat macaroni and cheese. Period.
It’s not that your parents haven’t tried to introduce you to other options. You’ll eat rice and beans, quesadillas, pizza, bananas, goldfish crackers, bananas, raisins, pureed fruit, cereal, and… well, actually, that’s pretty much it.
However, if we gave you macaroni and cheese every single night for dinner, you would never complain or ask for anything else.
Tonight, Mommy decided to mix things up by making Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes, based on a recipe she found online from Giada of The Food Network.
We substituted fresh carrots for the chicken that the recipe called for, meaning your macaroni and cheese for tonight was full of vegetables.
You liked the Mac and Cheese Cupcakes. We will be repeating this recipe.
So here is the takeaway:
Don’t be surprised if we start tossing broccoli, carrots, and zucchini into the other few menu items you eat, like your rice and beans, pizza, and quesadillas.
As your parents, we no longer have to feel slightly guilty about only feeding you the few select meals you will actually eat.
We will simply begin enhancing your “bread and cheese” meals with whole veggies. If you don’t like it… then you can eat cereal.
Monday, November 12th, 2012
For the first time ever, we had dinner together as a family, at the kitchen table, with no high chairs involved. Just my son’s booster seat.
Somehow his reaction to “eating at the table like a big boy” came across like he was a Southern rapper in a video shoot, showing off his newly acquired grandiose lifestyle.
I don’t know why he felt the need to put his foot on the table while he sipped on his pureed vegetable pouch; but he insisted, and we didn’t argue.
After all, this is the South. We can get away with quirky stuff like that simply by saying, “This is the South.”
That might also explain why our son asked for, and received, butter on his homemade whole wheat veggie pizza.
Part of the success of your child making it through an entire dinner, without a high chair, is knowing they actually ate dinner.
We have finally gotten to the point where he understands he must A) eat the same dinner as his parents, B) eat Cheerios and milk, or C) go to bed early.
This particular night he chose both veggie pizza with butter and Cheerios.
Our first family dinner at the kitchen table went much better than I thought it would:
No spills, no melt-downs, and most importantly, I actually got to finish my meal without any annoying interruptions.
I like this change. My son will be 2 years old in just a few days and his maturity is starting to show.
Perhaps he’s just simply eager to please his parents as the only child (so far?) but I could tell he really liked feeling a part of the family during our dinner.
My expectations were so low, rightfully. Fortunately, my son proved me wrong.
Maybe the secret is just adding butter. If so, it’s worth it. No more of me quickly eating dinner over the kitchen sink before I have to rush him upstairs for his bedtime.
At least that’s what I’m hoping for.