Monday, May 31, 2010

Toddler Dinner Boot Camp

The goal: To have dinner with Sam, at the table. Since Josh gets home between 6:30 and 7pm, and Sam eats at 5:30pm, I will eat a coupe faim while Sam eats a "homemade" meal. The quotes are because sometimes it's a heated item as opposed to something created by my hands.
Day One: Pea-ricotta "pesto." Sam didn't put so much as one piece of pasta in his mouth. He just looked at it and pushed the bowl away. This happened on both Sunday and Monday evenings when I tried this meal. I continue to believe that we need a pig. The pig would be well-fed, eating all of Sam's rejects as well as his leftovers. And then we could make our own sausages, bacon, etc., and put it on the blog!
Day One Verdict: Failure.
Day Two: Falafel. What was I thinking? The photo of the meal could be both the before and after shot. At first, Sam took a big bite and said, "Mmmm." He chewed. I stayed myself, waiting for the bite to come tumbling out, but it didn't. He chewed as he examined his carrots. Chewed as he told me that we would "then [watch] Elmo," meaning after dinner. It was all I could do not to rush back into the kitchen, grab all of the falafel, and shove them onto his plate screaming, "There are lots more, son! Lots more! Eat! Eat!" I watched him chew thinking what a great story this was going to make! A miracle food: the falafel. And then! out came the tongue, pushing little shreds of falafel with it. He sat there with his falafel-covered tongue protruding as he exclaimed "Uh! Uh!" I wiped his tongue with my napkin as he told me that he "choked, choked!"
Day Two Verdict: Failure.
Day Three: I didn't manage to make anything, per se. I only heated up a breaded tilapia stick and a spinach cake. Both were rejected. The fish stick is usually devoured, while the spinach patty is a crap shoot. But to have both dismissed out of hand? Crazy. This kid is on a rejection roll. I then gave him a wee slice of the homemade whole wheat bread that I baked earlier in the day. He took one bite, then set it down and started sucking his arm. I tried a bowl of O's, and he ate with gusto. Oh, and we didn't have dinner at the table because Mommy was having a hard afternoon and knew that if he rejected his dinner and I was sitting across from him that I would either (a) break down crying, or (b) scream and break down crying. Since I already freaked out about him climbing on the couch with mud all over his pants, I decided that Sam had his freaky Mommy fill for the day.
Day Three Verdict: Failure.
Day Four: Macaroni and cheese. I know, this seems like a gimme. What kid doesn't like mac and cheese. I dress it up a little by using pureed cauliflower for the "milk" addition. I am, naturally, speaking of the packaged M&C variety. Not the neon orange one, but rather Annie's, which is organic, but still packaged. Well, bless my son because he doesn't like it anyway. I have three boxes left that I will give to Matthew W if he wants them.

I am tempted, however, to call this dinner a success because Sam decided on and then ate his own dinner. Yogurt and O's he said. So that's what he had while I ate my homemade wheat bread and triple cream cheese. He had two servings and we had a delightful conversation. It's a success of sorts. I'm just glad it wasn't plain O's. My mother tells the story of me eating nothing but Rice Krispies for three weeks - that's breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The fact that Sam had yogurt is wonderful. And, you know, that's probably a better choice than the mac and cheese even though yogurt isn't really "dinner."
Day Four Verdict: Quasi-Failure.
Day Five: Zucchini patties. I got the recipe from Bon Appetit and thought I would make them for the adult dinner, but keep the toppings (creme fraiche and smoked sardines) off for Sam. He sat down with Josh and Auntie Mel and was actually, I thought, eating them. Nope, that was Josh and Auntie Mel making their own coupe faim from Sam's rejects. What he did eat was bread (my homemade whole wheat!) and peanut butter. That's okay.
Day Five Verdict: Quasi-Failure.
Day Six: Lumpia. I know, again? This time I got the recipe for the ones that Sam definitely likes. "Recipe" is generous, as the instructions are minimal. I have much more to say about the lumpia I made this time, but will save it for a separate post. So, this should have been another gimme because, as I have mentioned before, Sam loves lumpia when R makes them. We have had them a couple of times at gatherings and he goes wild gobbling them up. The verdict on these? Sam looked at the one I held out for him, repeated lumpia, then asked for yogurt with O's. The three adults ate lumpia with our stir fry. They were awesome!
Day Six Verdict: (Delicious)Failure.

So, Sam ate nothing I prepared for him this week. Wow. That has to be some kind of record. I think next week I will be even more daring and just serve him what Josh and I eat. Really, if he's not going to eat the things I make specially and separately and painstakingly for him, why bother? Seems like a no brainer! I won't bother!


  1. lumpia looks delicious!! mom

  2. They were really good. There are a bunch left in the freezer for future enjoyment, too.