mrs.b and her boys

embrace the chaos

Month: May 2016

DON’T GIVE UP!

Surviving the years of picky eaters seems near impossible. It’s so maddening! It feels as if they will never {NEVER!} eat anything other then chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, or crackers. I promise you, if you keep at it, they will come around. They will eat delicious, healthy food one day. You will be able to go out to eat somewhere other then a restaurant that serves “American food” options only.

 

The key is to not give up. You have to stay on it. You need to have them try something new about once every 3-4 weeks . It starts with fresh vegetables. When they are babies, they eat all kinds of pureed vegetables then they all tend to boycott any vegetable of any kind. And you’re standing there with your hands in the air freaking out that they are not getting any vegetables now. I am not a doctor or a trained dietician, but I say it is okay. For now. If they are getting some fruit and calcium, hide their vegetables in other dishes. You can slip sweet potato or carrot puree into spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, sloppy joe’s, etc. {Thank you Jessica Seinfeld for making this easy for us}

 

Although my rule is, once they turn 3 years old, they have to make a vegetable choice. They will have a veggie on the plate at dinner every night. If it’s the same every night, oh well! It’s a start. My oldest only ate carrot sticks and cucumbers with the occasional steamed broccoli. My youngest only ate avocado and carrot sticks.

 

Then, two summers ago when they were 5 and 7, I threw Strawberry Salad into the mix. They HAD to eat it. But they did not fight me on it too much. They love strawberries. The poppy seed dressing is sweet. The hardest part was getting used to the texture of the spinach. I learned to chop it into smaller pieces for them, then its easier to get down. Now they LOVE Strawberry Salad, they prefer spinach over lettuce AND they both asked at one point to try different kinds of salads. Now, they both eat Caesar Salad and regular veggie salad. This is major people {MAY-JOR!} I’m talking, my youngest used to get so worked up at dinner time {no matter what was on the plate} that he would puke. Every night! To the point that his brother would chime in, “Oh! Here we go again!” And now, he asks to try new things – like a Moroccan chicken kebob or crab legs. So, I can truly say, it works, don’t give up. Just keep at it – slowly.

 

Another rule I had, more for myself, was that I rarely made a completely separate meal for the kids. Even if I made stir-fry which I knew they wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, I would give them the meat from the stir-fry, raw carrot sticks (instead of the cooked ones in the stir-fry) along with a piece of buttered wheat bread. That way they are seeing similar things on their plate. Or before they would eat enchiladas or tacos, I would give them a cheese quesadilla. Again, the same ingredients, just in a different form. When I decided it was time for them to eat real tacos, I just started with a soft shell, the meat, cheese and sour cream. Simple to start off. Now, I put spinach in them as well. It eased them in so slowly that there was little complaining or fighting it.

 

There will always be things they just are not going to like, but the options you will have will widen. My boys are still not crazy about many vegetables – raw or cooked. And strangely, neither of them like any kind of rice or potato {weirdos!} But I can put Enchiladas or Turkey Feta Meatballs on the table and they will eat. We can go out for Thai or Mexican and they find something on the menu. They are very open to trying new things now. I can sing “Hallelujah!” and dance a happy dance! You will too.

SlowCooker Meatballs

I don’t know what your week is like this week, but ours is busier then normal and it’s not our normal schedule. So, it is throwing me off a bit and has me thinking, “How are we going to handle dinner this week?” Well, I have got the answer and hopefully, it will help you too.

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This is more of a dinner idea for you then a traditional recipe. It’s simple. It’s tasty. It’s ready for when you need it. I usually serve it with garlic bread and a salad. Everyone {let’s hope, right} is happy, everyone is full!

Feeding your family a good, homemade {sometimes semi-homemade when we use frozen meatballs} doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time. All it needs is a little thought and a whole lotta love.

Just throw your favorite frozen meatballs, vegetarian meatballs or turkey meatballs into your slow cooker, pour a jar of your favorite marinara over the top of them, stir and select your setting for how long you’d like them to cook. Seriously people, that’s all it takes. The hardest part will be putting together your salad and buttering your garlic bread.

Now, sit down with your family, enjoy your dinner and get to know each other even better.

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