I had a completely different post planned today. What I planned to write about, was the power of the words we use with our children. I have that post mostly written; however, when your focus for the month is parenting and you end of closing yourself in the bathroom, because you feel like a complete failure, I feel like that should probably be addressed.
One area of focus for the month of motherhood, is trying to get my kiddos to eat healthier foods. When the girls were younger, they would eat anything. I feel like this is just one of the many tricks that kids have up their sleeves, especially the first born. They eat everything you put in front of them, and they are cute and adorable while trying new things that it gives you a false sense of superiority. Like, “I don’t know why people complain about their kids not eating, mine eat anything” or the best “I will never feed my kids only chicken nuggets, they’re going to eat whatever I feed them.” I feel like kids trick you into thinking this so that (1) You will have more kids and (2) So that you will feed them chicken nuggets and pizza, because they are such good eaters that you don’t think it is that big of a deal. Then the next thing you know, that is all they want to eat, and you might as well buy the Costco size box of Pizza Bagels, because Lord knows that is all they want to eat.
I planned on writing about simple ways to get your kids to eat healthier, without making a big fuss about it. Initially, this started off great, and I was feeling pretty confident. Which should have been my first sign that things were about to take a drastic turn. This month, I have taken the “Eat This, Not That” approach to introducing healthy foods. I knew that if I plopped some steamed broccoli down on a plate, that my house would turn into total anarchy. I found a brand of food at the grocery store called Kid Fresh. The company takes kid friendly foods, such as pizza, fish sticks, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets and finds sneaky ways to add vegetables. This has been pretty successful; Instead of buying pizza bagels I buy the Kid Fresh mini pizzas which have carrots, broccoli and cauliflower mixed in. Yes, I realize it’s still pizza, but it’s the healthier version and I have been working toward subtle change.
In addition to the Kid Fresh freezer meals, I also bought various types of frozen veggie “fries.” Instead of regular potato fries, I bought broccoli and potato fries, and sweet potato and cauliflower tots, all of which are delicious. I even made cheese dipping sauce for the broccoli fries; This is where our story starts to take a turn for the worse. Because I am introducing new foods, and changing habits I have helped create, I understand that I can’t expect them to magically start eating every veggie I put in front of them. All I ask is one bite. Just one bite. I’ll even reward you (bribe you) for the bite. Take one bite and you can have candy, ice cream, whatever; I just want them to take one bite just to see if it’s something that tastes good.
So last night, the girl’s had chicken and cauliflower nuggets, and I should have stopped while I was ahead. But I thought, this has been going well, they have been trying new foods, I’ll go for the tots. Big mistake. Big mistake. After what felt like eternity of whining about not wanting to try the tot, and still being hungry, I hit my breaking point. Last night was just not our night. I tried to stick to my guns, and remain consistent. Part of one of the books I’m reading, is taking out the emotion and arguing with your children, and just using straight-forward discipline through counting and time out. With this strategy we have begun to see success, until last night. Countless time outs, countless crying. Oh and they did those things too.
At the end of the evening we were all emotionally exhausted. My husband walked in the door, and I took five minutes to myself to just breathe. And cry. It was a battle of wills, and I’m not sure anyone won. I often say I try to pick and choose my battles, and eating healthier is the current battle.