Monday, November 30, 2009


Tonight was a good night. A good, good night. Whoo-hoo! (Wrigley has been singing the Black-Eyed Peas song relentlessly lately. His version, though, is "I got a feel-a. Whoo-hoo". Too cute!)
It was a good night because my wish came true for one moment in time at the dinner table. I cooked one meal, placed it on the table and everyone ate. No arguing. No negotiating over bites. I needed tonight after the numerous fights I have had with Jackson over eating lately. You may, or may not have, noticed that I haven't been posting too frequently. I will admit that Jackson's stubbornness got the best of me for a while. I resorted to my old ways of fixing the blue and orange box or throwing hot dogs in the microwave. Partly we have been busy and my husband has had late work nights. So, it is very difficult for me to muster enough gumption to cook a nice meal knowing no one will be eating it but me. But, also, I was just exhausted from the efforts of getting Jack to eat. The tip of my iceberg was Thanksgiving. For the 3rd year in a row, I have hosted. I love hosting! I love the idea of cooking a really good meal made up of dishes that my mom has served for as long as I can remember. I don't remember a Thanksgiving without 7 layer salad or corn soufflé or the very popular Monkey Bread. Now that I can master those dishes and serve them to my family fills me with joy, even if it takes a whole lotta work! Of course, when your 5 year old eats nothing but a roll and then 10 minutes after all the endless dishes are cleared and cleaned announces that he is hungry, that joy dissipates. I really thought I was done. That was it! This is over-he has won. I was ready to wave my white flag and stock pile Kraft boxes.
Then something miraculous happened! We decorated the house for Christmas on Friday and my husband took over as food monitor. Something must have snapped for him, too, because soon after breakfast the kids wanted a snack. Adam said very firmly, "No snacks today! You can eat lunch and then dinner. Nothing else." Who am I to argue with logic? So, we stuck to this plan and the kids filled their bellies with hot dogs for lunch and pizza for dinner. Now, I realize this is not yet too miraculous since the kids like hot dogs and pizza. But, cut to today and again no snacks allowed. Dinner was Spaghetti with meat sauce. Notoriously, Jackson refuses the sauce and requests plain pasta. Not tonight! I fixed dinner, served, and everyone ate! He actually ate meat sauce! Truth be told, he did ask for plain pasta after his serving was consumed, but still! So, this is the new rule in our house. Snacks are no longer available! This, as you may remember, has been the only "expert tip" that had worked so far in this challenge. They won't starve no matter how many times they tell me they are! We, as parents, just have to stick to the plan and soon Jackson will be eating liver and onions! :) Stay tuned....


Monday, November 16, 2009

How I love the Corn Chowder....too bad Jackson doesn't!

I must be on some kind of soup/chowder kick. Even though it is still in the 80's here in Orlando, I feel like it should be cold and therefore, soup/chowder is appropriate.
No one in my family, except me, is big on corn. Even Wrigley says he doesn't like "pa-corn". But, I thought hidden in the soup it might work. I found a really good recipe on All Recipes and it turned out wonderful! Very flavorful and hearty. However, Jackson wouldn't even attempt a bite. Shocking, I know! I am starting to wonder why I even make dinner. Jackson's hatred for all things not named Mac and Cheese has started to infiltrate Wrigley. So, now when I tell Wrigley it is time for dinner, he says: "I don wan dinna". Nice! I am trying not to get frustrated, but it is getting increasingly more difficult. I feel really good about what I am serving in that it is healthy and yummy, but is it worth all the effort if no one but Adam and I eat?
Tonight I am going back to the basics and serving Baked Spaghetti. Maybe one dinner where everyone eats will keep me motivated...

Here is the recipe for the chowder, which really was good. I had a lot leftover and was able to freeze some for the days when it actually is cold around here. I followed the recipe exactly, but some of the commented suggestions sounded good, too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Soup's On....

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. Yummy! Well, to most, anyway! My dad, the repair hero, stopped by the house to try and fix our washing machine and ended up staying for dinner. It was a nice change to have conversation at the table that didn't revolve around how many bites Jackson had to endure to get ice cream. I can tell you how many bites he took-NONE! There was a debate between Jackson and I over whether a bite of chicken actually passed his lips. But, in the end it was concluded that the chicken touched his lips but never entered his mouth.
So far, the only trick that has worked is to starve him until dinner. And even then I only get one or two bites out of him. The problem with this trick is that if he doesn't like the afternoon snack at school (which, giving his limited taste buds, is most days) then he is down right ravenous by the time I pick him up from school. I try to give him a little something to tide him over. Good thing I do, because he doesn't eat dinner and has to wait for breakfast. It is a vicious cycle!
The soup, however, was a big hit among us normal eaters. I used this recipe from All Recipes and applied the suggestions found in the comments:
This made enough for the 3 adults and one child that actually ate. Plus I was able to fill 4 ziploc bags with one serving each. I froze those in case any of us come down with a cold in the next few months-nothing like a nice bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup to feel better!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's been a while....

Life has been crazy, but fun lately. We took the kids to Disney for Halloween weekend and then Wrigley and I took a road trip with my parents to Illinois while Jackson and Adam went camping. So, the challenge was put on hiatus for the last two weeks. So worth it, though, as we had so much fun trick-or-treating with Mickey and Wrigley and I got to harvest soy beans with my Uncle John in Illinois! What an experience! Support your local farmers:)
Needless to say, with 2 weeks of Jackson getting to eat Pb&J's and macaroni and cheese, last night was like starting over with my dinner challenge. I used the "expert tip" of re-introducing a food that was previously turned down by your child. Children's taste buds are ever changing, so what they dislike last week may be their favorite dish this week. So, Martha's (who needs no last name) Chicken Tetrazzini made a re-appearance last night on the dinner table. We got back from Illinois late Sunday night, so the chicken tetrazzini that I froze weeks ago came in very handy! Unfortunately, the tip did not work and Jackson chose not to dip his fork in the chicken tetrazzini, again. These tips never seem to work. I often wonder if they are really kid tested. I recently read on the cover of a parenting magazine that inside were kid-friendly recipes. Just what I need! I excitedly flipped to the page only to find recipes for fish tacos and meat-loaf. Really?!?! How old are these "kids"? Because I was 30 before I stopped holding my nose when I ate meat-loaf.
I did try something really cruel last night. Ice cream is a love of Jackson's, so half way through dinner I told him that if he ate half of what was on his plate, he could have a bowl. He said he would, and I quote, "think about it". While he was thinking about it, Wrigley ate ALL of his dinner. So, I served him a big heaping bowl of ice cream while he sat next to a very pitiful looking older brother. And, this is how different their eating habits are. Wrigley declined the bowl for more grapes! Jackson wanted to know who got the bowl of ice cream since he was choosing not to eat his dinner. I briefly though about grabbing a spoon and digging in, but I could hear that story being re-told in a therapy session years from now and opted to just pitch the bowl.
Something, eventually, has to work. Tonight is homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. Jackson's excitement of chicken noodle soup was quickly turned to disappointment when he discovered it wouldn't be out of a can. What has this world come to:)