Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chicken McNuggetry.

Trying to get your kids to eat nutritious foods in sustaining amounts is possibly the biggest struggle of parenting. I'm not a fan of struggle.
So I choose to opt out.

Instead of stressing about vegetable servings and family meals, I choose to feed the six year old food she would like and want to eat.
I indulged in chicken nuggets, fish sticks and mac'n'cheese.
I gave yogurts that taste fruity and yummy (have sugar.)
I offered fruit and vegetables but if they didn't taste good to the six year old - I didn't push them.
We ended up with a small repertoire but it did involve all the food groups and she ate heartily.
I did choose organic and drinks in this house are milk or water. We don't do fast food.
Well when I say we....

I also let her eat while listening to books on CD or even watching a DVD. Big no-no's as far as the parenting books are concerned. You won't find that chapter in MY book.
We don't do family meal during the week. I find it much easier to feed the kids and get them off to bed and then enjoy a meal with the husband.
I don't know about you but a meal with the kids usually means I eat cold food or don't even taste it because I had to eat so quickly.
Wait - am I actually doing something that makes my life better for me?

I listened to conversations at the park where more diligent moms were lamenting the fact that they cooked a delicious meal involving spinach and kale - only to find that their kid wouldn't eat one bite.
I also have friends who's kids will eat anything.

I have felt guilty but I just kept thinking that you pick your battles and I couldn't face this fight three times a day. My thinking was that she would grow out of her kid meal phase. Right?

My cousin (true story) ate nothing but Spam, yes I do mean Spam, for two whole years.
TWO YEARS. My poor Aunt took him to nutritionists and doctors but nothing dissuaded him.
One day he asked for something else and never looked back. Now he's a strapping 30 year old, healthy man. He has two kids. Secretly, I bet my Aunt is hoping his kids return the favor!

Yesterday I realized my Chicken McNuggetry© had payed off.
I looked in the freezer and found it packed with the old staples.
I hadn't even really noticed but the six year old is now eating chicken breast, fish, rice, lots of vegetables. Not just eating them - choosing them.
She just slid into it. When I offered a new food she tried it. No tears, no fuss.

I feel victorious. I have managed to teach healthy eating habits. I did it with frozen food.


  1. My parents made me a separate meal my whole life of chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. I am still a very picky eater but my husband has gotten me to try a lot of things my parents never thought I would. Doctor's were always concerned that I was underweight. Just my high metabolism.

  2. I don't think you opted out - you simply chose your battles wisely. I apparently ate nothing but peanut butter and honey sandwiches for a whole year as a preschooler and I turned out okay. Mostly.

    My chosen way was to give her what she wanted (pasta) with what I wanted in it (soy beans, broccoli, kale). She complained but she ate it, and like yours, now chooses those foods. Isn't it gratifying?

  3. Chose your battles! Family time should be quality time, not battles over peas. That's what you want your kids to remember! And a nice dinner with your husband is pretty special also. Kudos to you! I am envious! ( and my kids are 19, 13 and 13 !) :)

  4. It worked out so well! You handle this so well! Stopping by from SITS!

  5. You do what you gotta do! I am glad she is sliding into a more varied diet - most of my kids have done this.


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