This post has been on my mind for a while, but you have no idea how hard it’s been to remember to take snapshots of Mazen’s meals!! I wanted to share a few of them though because, well, I founded this blog on sharing real life meals! Other moms (or maybe your three year olds!?) might enjoy seeing what my little guy eats.
Mazen is a typical three year old, and he is very picky in some ways and adventuresome in others. I was actually quite surprised at his parent-teacher conference last fall when his teachers said they were most impressed with the contents of his lunch boxes. I do sneak some green vegetables and carrot sticks and hummus in there from time to time, but I don’t think that his meals are exceptionally healthy. One of my girlfriends has three boys who eat things like picked beets and kimchi, so that’s my gold standard! She is also a phenomenal cook, so I think both nature and nurture are in her favor. We are doing our best around here!
We try to follow Ellyn Satter’s division of responsibility which says the parent decides when, where and what is serve and the child decides whether and how much. We have started putting our foot down more with the short-order cook whining and telling him that what’s on his plate is for lunch/dinner and he doesn’t have to eat it if he doesn’t want, but we’re not cooking something else. Some nights this works and other nights it doesn’t!
We’ve gotten better about having family meals together to show good modeling, but one huge weakness in our family is allowing Mazen to have his tablet for breakfast and some lunches. Honestly it just saves my sanity, and he’ll watch shows and savor his lunch while I prepare, eat, clean up and sometimes get a little work done. For dinners we try to stick to a no-tablet-family-dinner rule. Try being the key word : )
My goal with Mazen’s meals is to offer a balance of fresh produce, whole grains, dairy and other real foods like almonds or hummus. Admittedly these are some of his better meals, but nevertheless they are real ones!
Breakfast: Green smoothie made with milk, banana, spinach and peanut butter and a roll with jam
Lunchbox: Yogurt, melon, sweet potato fries, quesadilla
Lunch: Grilled cheese roll, avocado, cantaloupe (his fav!)
Dinner: Cheese quesadilla and broccoli (his favorite veg)
Dinner: Chicken with ketchup, broccoli, carrots and hummus
Dinner: Sausage, homemade french fries, roasted carrots
Dinner: Salmon, acorn squash, eggplant and mushrooms (the latter two did not get touched!)
Dinner: Sardines with roasted potatoes and oranges
What’s an unexpected food your child loves? Are there any “normal” foods they won’t eat? Mazen won’t touch a lot of typical kid foods like chicken nuggets yet he’ll eat smoked salmon.