Family Meals Makeover

I hadn’t planned on sharing this with you because it is a tad pathetic (just a tad) on my part and I have a feeling that you will roll your eyes at me. Honestly I had been rolling my eyes at me, which prompted my new mealtime plan.

I was making various foods for dinner because my once-great eaters slowly over time became very picky and selective. I have three young kids at home so it became my routine to just make whatever any one would eat that was healthy because I am busy and needed to get food on their plates. My toddler often eats before the other two because he has no interest in waiting for me to get everyone’s plate ready. So, it was just a chaotic time of “comings and goings”.

I embraced the idea of trying for a third child because I was way too organized with two children and no good was going to come of that. Our family needed some chaos thrown in to skew the balance. I had also seen a tiny little face in my mind that I somehow knew was the next member of our family. I did not want to leave anyone behind so we have been blessed with three. So far, they are thriving in chaos and do not miss my organization, unless it comes to knowing where a toy is. Then, organization comes in handy. I am too exhausted from all of the daily chaos to wonder about the wisdom of my thought process. But meal time has been on the burner simmering for quite some time now.

This past few months I had been prompting my two older children that at some point, meal time would need to become more like a regular meal time. That how we ate was not how it should be and that I was not sure how or when but I would get away from making individual foods and they would need to eat more regular foods. They like pasta with no sauce. One child likes hot dogs but only if you cut the ends off. They would like a food then not like it when I was stocked up. Pure craziness, I know.

But momma’s time came and three days ago I unveiled the new meal time dinner plan. My oldest was quite sad when I discussed it with him because he felt as if he would never have the foods that he liked again. He ended up being the child that ate the most that night at dinner.

The new plan was embraced whole heartedly and my two older children had a ball. They ate more that night at dinner than they have in a long time. I was sure it was a fluke, a great start right out of the gate but it would be a struggle for the long haul. I just hoped that I could keep it up long enough for it to become the norm and then if I dropped the ball, we all knew that I would pick it up again.

The second night I had a request for broccoli. I knew that they were not really going to like the broccoli but I fulfilled the request. Broccoli was not a hit but again, my children ate more helpings of food that they previously would not eat. My toddler even started to see that something was going on that he needed to participate in and he ate very well. I found the whole thing quite comical.

Tonight was the third night and I had a request for pizza. It was prompted because my two children were celebrating their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy’s birthday and everyone knows that they love pizza. My son does not and he was the requester. I told him I would make it but he had to eat it with sauce. He hesitated and then obliged. It was another wonderful eating night and now I am feeling quite accomplished and proud so that I can handle it if you roll your eyes at me. We ate a whole pizza, there were no leftovers. I always have pizza leftovers and I count on them. I love pizza.

I fantasize about buying bulk groceries and making 2 of everything for dinner because that just sounds so cozy to me. 2 lasagnas, 2 meat loafs, 2 turkeys, a whole bag of frozen peas instead of just pouring out a cup or two for dinner. I may actually be getting closer to that fantasy!

At this point, I now feel confident that there is no going back. A meal time routine has been established and I think there is enough enthusiasm to last a few more days at least so that will keep the momentum going. My plan does require me to be a bit more organized and I will need to frequent the grocery store more than twice a month as I had been dragging it out to. You can do that when everyone eats a mish mosh dinner. But, I have to say that I am energized for the new plan and am having lots of fun too!

Thanks for listening to my “proudness”. Now you can roll your eyes…

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