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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

She ate spaghetti sauce!

A lot of you are probably reading the headline and thinking...ok...what's the big deal?  Well, if you knew how difficult meal time is in my house, you would appreciate my surprise and joy when my oldest daughter asked for spaghetti sauce on her noodles last night.  Then, my younger daughter asked for some too!  Then, imagine how I felt when they both ATE it and liked it!  Oooh, the elation and joy!! 

Ok, so some of you are thinking...this mom has lost's just spaghetti sauce!  Just spaghetti sauce you say? 

Allow me to give you some background...

I have two, possibly three picky eaters in my house.  The range of picky-ness (is that even a word?) is across the board.  My husband is the least picky and the easiest to please.  Really, if I stay away from mushrooms, cooked tomatoes, and anything really spicy, he's happy.  My youngest daughter is m ore adventurous in her eating - she will try most anything at least once.  She is somewhere in the middle on the picky-ness scale.  I mean, what kid doesn't like peanut butter and jelly??  Not her! 

My oldest daughter is the most challenging.  Since she was an infant, she has given me fits where food is concerned.  She wouldn't nurse, no matter what we tried.  I saw three lactation consultants and we tried everything.  I pumped for 6 months, but finally the amount of formula was outweighing the amount of breast milk she was getting, so she was on formula after six months.  When it came time for baby food, she was so difficult.  I followed what the doctor told me, but it didn't seem to matter what went into her mouth, she screwed up her face and clearly didn't like it.  When she had had enough, the lips closed and that was it. 

Ok, fast forward to today - she is going to be 11 years old in August.  The list of things she likes can fit onto a playing card size piece of paper if I write small.  Yes, that's it.  Imagine trying to come up with meals that she will eat!  Meal time is not my favorite time of day to say the least.

Now I will say that breakfast is pretty good - she eats Grape Nuts with organic milk, orange juice, and her vitamins.  Not too shabby.  I can live with that.  Lunch and dinner get real interesting though.  Let's just say that there are times I have ended up in tears and told my entire family to hit the Subway up the street because I can't stand to cook another meal no one wants to eat. 

There were a few years there when I made up to three separate meals in a desperate attempt to make sure everyone had some thing they liked and would eat.  I stopped doing that a while back, but still I try to present at least one thing on the table that each person in my family likes and will consume.  It's tricky sometimes.  There have been days when I have wandered the grocery store, praying that the Lord will show me what to buy, show me what to make for these three people I love so much.  I have wandered the grocery store for a few hours sometimes just hoping that something would "jump out" at me.  Ugh...

The spaghetti sauce was a huge thing!  She has been eating plain spaghetti noodles with butter and salt for years now.  She tried the sauce back a few years ago and drank it down with water as fast as she could.  But last night, she ate almost the whole serving!  Hey, we aren't members of the clean plate club here unless there was truly very little on the plate to begin with, so I was thrilled she ate 1/2 of what I gave her.  She also tried a cucumber slice and a piece of celery last night!  Believe me, it was all I could do not to jump up and down and cheer!  The doctor tells me I need to stay calm and not make a big deal out of food and eating in front of my daughter.  Ok, ok...but I am going to say it here - "whoopee!!!"

I know that the trend may not last.  She may not eat those foods ever again.  But last night, she did.  Last night I felt like I had fed my family the way they should be fed.  I felt successful in giving them the healthy foods their bodies need.  I haven't felt that way in years...except for a few days here and there.  It's discouraging to say the least to feel like no matter what you put on the table will not be received well and probably not eaten.  We are trying to teach the girls that no matter what is on the table, they need to be thankful.  Their attitudes have gotten better and for that we are thankful.  Hopefully with time and continued teaching, it will get even better. 

Hey, maybe the girls will try my tilapia and baked zucchini today!  Yeah, right, ok, now I am officially crazy.  I have to keep reminding steps...

Now you know...I'm a little nuts.  But that's ok.  There's a little bit of being nuts in all of us...we just have to admit it.  (big smile)

Anyone else out there with picky eaters?  How are you handling it in your house?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!  

All my best to you today,