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Food for Thought

December 10, 2010

Been thinking about food a lot. Probably because I’m gaining so much weight I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror the other day. Undressing, wiggling out of my once loose jeans, I caught a sight of someone I didn’t want to know. Someone with a huge backside. Of course, this is not a complete surprise. I have always gone to the gym twice a week and watched somewhat of my dessert portions. Not anymore. The cold weather came, I got sick, and slid downward at a rapid pace. By the time I get out of work, the thought of even driving to the gym causes me to shudder, so I keep driving. I eat extra portions of dinner. And my husband, who is the Hostess Cake King, keeps buying yodels and funny bones and devil dogs. I used to avoid them, but this month I eat two a night. Then move on to chips. All while watching The Biggest Loser.

Yes. Things are quite bad.

Anyway, my children have been causing me some stress in the food department. Jake was always the picky eater – Joshua ate everything.  As the big 4 approaches, he’s become his older brother. I serve him  dinner and he barely gets through it. “I don’t eat that anymore,” he proudly announces. “Since when?” I challenge. “You love that.” “Nope. Not anymore.”

Jake has eaten a turkey sandwich every day since kindergarten started. Every day. He refuses anything from the cafeteria though I beg and plead for him to try. He eats meat. Steak, hamburger, ham, pork chops, chicken and turkey. Good, right? Not to a vegetarian mother who is stressed about the hormones and the poor animals. He eats corn. Sometimes peas. Raw mushrooms. That’s it in the veggy department. And fruit? Just bananas and applesauce. Breakfast is his best meal. Eggs and bacon and sausage every day. I beg for the old stuff: cheerios and milk, peanut butter on toast, anything but all this meat. I am literally raising a 5 year old on the Atkins diet. Fantastic.

Now, the little one is following suit. He eats peanut butter and jelly. Chicken nuggets. Sometimes pasta with sauce.  And meat. He stopped eating ALL vegetables. Just decided to get up one morning and not like them. He eats fruit thank God, but I had been spoiled and now dinner has become an endless chore in my house.

I read a few articles on picky eaters. Don’t reward them with dessert. Yeah, right. Stupid article. If I didn’t have dessert to bargain with, they wouldn’t eat anything at all. If I can dangle a devil dog over their head, at least I manage to get them to eat a certain number of bites. Introduce them to new food at all times. Stupid article. I do that, and get a rousing “Yuk, gross, get it away from me!” They see plenty of new stuff on my table and that has not helped at all.

I tried The Sneaky Chef and the other cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld. I spent hours and hours prepping veggie sauces to sneak into their meals, gleefully plotting my children’s demise. My husband called me a mad scientist. I tried 5 meals, all with the sauces hidden in. I loved all the dishes. My husband said they were very well manipulated.

I dropped the plates in front of my kids. They actually sniffed it as if they knew. Each took a bite. Then promptly put their fork down. “I don’t’ like this. It tastes funny.”

Impossible!!  I told them they were nuts and to eat their dinner.

My son asked for a turkey sandwich. My little one asked for peanut butter and jelly. I cried. My husband laughed so hard he almost peed his pants. Talk about support.

I am usually a mom who doesn’t stress. I do the best I can with food and accept the bumps along the way. But lately, too many reports about cancer and microwaves and high fructose corn syrup have me baffled and fearful. I don’t want my kids to get sick because I am too lazy to cook correctly. But hell, what am I supposed to cook? I buy the healthy bread and they hate it. They eat regular wheat but no grainy things. I buy the yummy Pediasure shakes that cost a million dollars because it makes me feel better. My mother just informed me that bacon was highly linked to cancer. I promptly bought turkey bacon and the moment Jake tasted it, he had a fit. Hated it. Cried for the old bacon. What’s a mother to do?

Choices, I guess. It’s a new era, where a perfect home cooked meal on the table every night is the impossible dream. Sometimes I get there, more times not. I want to buy organic and eat like the Amish. It’s expensive and time consuming. I applaud all the people who are taking the time and effort to do it. Sometimes I just feel like Cher in the movie, Mermaids, serving my kids fun finger foods and eating around the counter top because it saves time.

Well, tonight is Friday so that means pizza night. Can’t be that bad, right? Bread, cheese and tomatoes. And both my kids eat it.

What’s on your table tonight???

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  1. Regina Richards says:

    Loved this post! Been there. But now my kids are teens and things have changed. Now they’ll eat anything that doesn’t eat them first – including salad. They no longer complain about what I’m serving for dinner – just about how long it is taking me to get it on the table.

  2. Kimberly says:

    This is so cute. My hat is off to all of you mom’s who have to go through this and from what I’ve heard all of you do. Even my own sister was bragging a month a go how her 5 year old was now eating chicken like it was going out of style. Present moment? nope he doesn’t like it…..it smells funny. Like many things in life this to shall pass.
    Another thing I hear about kids ESPECIALLY boys is that once they reach a certain age they WILL eat you out of house and home. lol So in about 6 or 7 years you may find yourself cooking a dinner that you know the boys may not like just so there is some left over for you and Ray.
    As for your own personal batlle with food I also sympathize. I sit in front of this computer with my nightly meal of pasta. A meal I have been making most every night since working so much overtime leaves me little time to make something else. 5 months ago I was 10 pounds lighter than I am right now of course this is when I was suffering from an undiagnosed stomach disorder. Now medicated for that disorder with the side effect of increased appetite I watch my belly get a little rounder every day. I actually find myself doing the Santa Claus pat to it every once in a while. lol.
    Oh well when it comes food there will always be a love/hate relationship at the different stages of ours lives. Right now your kids love to hate it but one day they will be like us hating ourselves for loving it. lol 🙂

    • jennifer121 says:

      Thanks, as usual, to help me see the humor in the situation! And I do the Santa Claus pat too!!!! I rather see you that way than thin and sick. Now we can finally do our dinner!

  3. Hi Jen!
    At least I’m in good company as I shatter through my ceiling weight, again and again, more effectively than Willy Wonka’s elevator! Tis the season!!! (And I’ve been celebrating since Halloween!) January is detox. (Not a fun time at my house.)
    Re: Your kids, when they’re hungry they’ll eat. If you let them always have their way each time they cry and complain, they will always cry and complain. When they were young, my children had to finish their vegetables if they wanted dessert. Period. No negotiation. They all went through phases with their eating. My son went through a period when all he would eat for lunch was a peanut butter and jelly uncrustable. Everyday for months. Then he stopped and never ate one again. My youngest daughter used to eat everything. Now she is so picky. My favorite phrase: “This is not a restaraunt.” If I give them a choice, each one wants something different. I’m sorry you’re having dinnertime trouble. We’ve been eating turkey bacon so long, we no longer like regular bacon. Good luck, Jen!

    • jennifer121 says:

      Wendy, I love your strictness! I don’t cook different things either – that would be way too exhausting. I will occasionally give them a sandwich if they are really hating dinner and feel hungry. Beautiful imagery from a talented writer on the Willy Wonka’s elevator image for weight. May I steal it please???

  4. Jen, I feel your pain with this. Children learn too easily how to pull our chains. I learned a lesson with mine. They would eat anything, except for my youngest. The hardest lesson I had to learn was to let her sit at the table and stare at the plate while the rest of us ate. I made her no special meals and my friends refused to feel d her. She’s still a fussy eater but she does love carbs. Have no advice for you but to remember, this too will pass and also monkey see, monkey do,

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