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what’s for dinner?

Inspired by bleubird’s bird food and ohdeardrea’s “what Marlowe eats” series, I am sharing what the kids have had for meals recently. I’m calling it “what’s for dinner?,” even though I’m sharing any and all of the three meals of the day, because at every meal Vivi marches into the kitchen cheerily asking “what’s for dinner?” It makes me chuckle that she can’t seem to learn the order and meaning of these three simple names for meals. Ask me if Nate loves it. Better yet, take a guess. Hee hee.

What Nate does love is that Vivi is an exceptionally good eater. The girl will eat a green olive stuffed with an anchovy; the very idea makes me nauseous. We have not encountered many food-related obstacles in her almost four years, which could be why I responded poorly to our recent incidence of picky eating in both girls after a rare but lengthy household sickness. Uncharted territory makes for rocky parenting decisions.

When I waxed angry a while back over Charlie’s
trifecta of yellow food, I realized our meal-time tug-of-war was getting out of hand. My previously calm demeanor regarding meals had melted away during our month-long house of ill to reveal a lunatic with a spoon. It’s not my natural state to be high strung in any situation, so in moments like these, something’s gotta give.

That something came to me in a low moment, when I literally held Charlotte down and fed her a bite against her will (okay okay, bad parent… I said it was a low moment). At once, I opted to give up the fight and instead put a big plate of lots of options in front of her. Bingo! When I gave her utensils and basically ignored her except for the occasional attagirl, she not-so-miraculously began eating everything in front of her.

Days like that one are why I smirk serenely when someone tells me they think they have this parenting gig figured out. I smile because I know they are about to undergo a major upheaval of order in their household. The calm before the storm, if you will. I try to look at our storms as jewels–opportunities for life experiences that I treasure, and so I’m not upset at my momentary lack of sanity. It is what it is, and I am stronger now for having earned my latest parenting badge. I am mother, watch me grow.

Aside from the tangent described above, my general parenting philosophy at meal time is not to push them to eat an entire plate of new food the first time they try it. I want eating to be a positive experience, and yet I also let them know that the food I’ve made is what is being offered; no new meals will be cooked for picky eaters.

With that extended introduction, allow me to share a few snippets of our food life this week!

Day 1, Lunch: It was a leftover day; I was cleaning out the fridge from when it looked like this in preparation for my dad’s arrival.

peas, potatoes and onions (from a batch of freezer breakfast burritos), meatballs, and bow-tie noodles with tomato sauce and roasted garlic.

Action shot

You can probably guess what I ate for lunch. Yes, it was indeed a conglomerate of Charlie’s leftover leftovers and a boiled egg, but it was actually pretty delicious all jumbled together.

Day 1, Dinner: Leftovers again, this time I made a stir-fry from what we had in the fridge.

steamed snow peas, leftover chopped carrots from a crudite platter, cooked brown rice, eggs, ginger

Charlotte’s “Deconstructed Fried Rice”

Day 2, Lunch: Eggs again. The girls looooove eggs.

omelets, cheese toast, leftover steamed veg

Day 2, Dinner: Chickety China the Chinese chicken. Ahhhhmazing.image
Don’t adjust your dial. These oranges are actually that orange. They are Florida cara cara navel oranges we got from our local farm’s indoor market. Sweet, light, and deeelicious.image

Grown-up version, with pepper flakes, cauliflower, and more of the snow peas

Day 3, Lunch: Grandpa!

tuna salad sandwiches (with homemade rolls!), peas, cheese, orange slices

What are you feeding your littles? I would love some more inspiration!

Editor’s note: This post is part of the Sunday School blog carnival and Natural Parenting Group’s Monday blog hop