Tuesday, March 5, 2013

You Gonna Eat That? These Kids Aren't.

Coming from me this complaint is comical but my kids are the worst eaters of all-time. Yes, I'm the guy who doesn't like ketchup or mustard. Yes, the next vegetable I willingly eat will be the first vegetable I willingly eat (although I do a damn fine job muscling down a few greens for the sake of the kids at dinnertime). And yes, I've eaten the same turkey and provolone sandwich for lunch for weeks (OK, months). But, come on, my kids are the worst eaters of all-time.

Here is a short list of foods I've compiled that they currently ingest without force:

Chicken nuggets
Fish sticks
Nutella - Lucy has no concept of any other type of sandwich to pack for her lunch every day
Pizza - only toppings are hamburger, chicken and olives (see, they are bizarre)
Goldfish Crackers
Tacos - this one is most shocking as there actually is seasoning on the beef when I cook it, if Lucy knew this she would just eat the tortilla and ask for a handful of shredded cheese
Spaghetti& Meatballs - only if snowed upon by a heaping helping of parmesan cheese, so it's essentially mac-n-cheese
Cereal - led by the nutritious Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Apple Jacks
Green Yogurt - quite possibly Paige's reason for living
Berries - please don't tell me berries aren't good for them, I'm clinging to this
French Fries/Potato Chips - they lose their shit when the fried potatoes are part of a meal
Anything Chocolate-Based - they are their mother's daughters

Last night Lucy ate enough of her spaghetti and meatballs to earn a "treat" so she picked the packet of Fun Dip she received from a thoughtful kindergartener for Valentine's Day. You would have thought this was her first morsel of food after being held captive for 38 days. We had at least five conversations about how good the Fun Dip was, she inquired about other flavors of Fun Dip to no end and was ecstatic when she realized she actually could consume the candy stick. Greatest. Treat. Ever.

I have no idea how to change their eating habits. I feel like I've already lost them. The other night I made a baked mac-n-cheese that included bacon bits, Lucy refused. That was in addition to homemade baked chicken covered in a few select seasonings, which was a glorified chicken nugget, just not in the unnatural nugget form, Lucy refused.

Allison and I do try. We get the crock pot out once ever couple of weeks knowing full well we are the only two eating anything coming out of that slow-cooking steel appliance. And, tonight, I'm planning to make cheesy chicken and black bean enchiladas knowing full well the prep and baking will take more than an hour, and I'll have to watch Lucy sulk as if I served her a plate of dog crap while Paige will take a bite, then make a motion she needs me to hold a napkin for her to spit it into. Paige eventually will pronounce, "I'm done!" and start playing with her Little People Princesses (see previous blog). Lucy will ask how many more bites as if we're negotiating the price of a used Honda Civic.

Is this my fault? Probably. The story goes I'm the kid who ate peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly) for almost every meal for three years as a kid. I've expanded my horizons slightly since then although peanut butter may be my reason for living at this point (and IPAs). But, Lucy and Paige were blank slates. How did they go from eating anything you placed in front of them as infants to this? How do you turn them back? Will they serve Nutella sandwiches at their weddings?

For now, we'll keep trying to serve them new things, they'll refuse and after a few days Lucy and Paige will beg, borrow and steal to convince me to open up the chest freezer and pull out a bag of breaded fish morsels in a stick shape. I'll oblige for fear of them starving and they will eat like bears preparing for hibernation. Of course, bears would sleep past 5:48 a.m. but that's another story.

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