Table for One

This is how Zoe makes a sandwich. She is the Dagwood Bumstead of her generation.

It’s a big day for the Cumings family!

It begins, unfortunately, with a dentist appointment for me, but continues with a play date for Zoe (and me), what I hope will be a lovely lunch and nap, possibly a trip to the grocery store, and then dinner with new friends.

I know.  The glamour of our lives is dizzying.

Contrary to popular belief, the life of a pastor with a young child in a small town is not awash in  social engagements, so I am truly looking forward to today’s events.

In anticipation, I have been telling Zoe that we are going to a dinner party where we will play with new friends and eat Special Soup.  (Pro Tip: “Special” is a powerful adjective with the preschool crowd.  Use it wisely.)  

Her meals at home for the past few days have consisted largely of cheese, apples, grapes, or the ever-popular “I’m all done!” (nothing at all).  So I’m hoping that, if I keep talking up this soup like it’s going out of style, maybe, just maybe, she will actually eat it.

If you’re wondering what that sound is, I’m pretty sure it’s the Internet laughing.

What are your best tips for tempting a contrary eater?

 Or, what are you looking forward to today?

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17 Comments

Filed under Taste and See, Your Moment of Zoe

17 responses to “Table for One

  1. Best tips for a contrary eater – bribery! D, if you eat 3 bites of vegetables, we can have more chicken. Or, did you want a special (we use that word too!) dessert tonight? (of course the answer is yes). Ok, then let’s eat a good dinner so we can have some!
    We really try to limit the not so healthy choices on the table which also makes a difference – if it isn’t there, we don’t have it for dinner. Some nights though, that changes and we cave to giving him bread with peanut butter.

    Today, I am looking forward to a little quiet before the snow and then hopefully a play date even with the snow this afternoon!

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    • Oh, we are big bribery proponents in this house! In fact, what I sometimes do is lure her to the table with “Captain America juice” (apple juice with a Captain America lid), and once she’s there, she will eat the food. Not always the actual meal, but the other reasonably healthy items on her plate. I need to hone my “eat this so you can have special dessert” skills, I think!

      Mike got the front walk and steps shoveled just in time for our play date guests to arrive! I hope yours goes well!

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  2. I remember a particularly contrary eater 30 years ago. She tried to subsist on apple juice, but it wasn’t doing the trick since it has absolutely no nutritional value. Once I mixed a raw egg into a homemade milk shake to get some protein into little Margaret, but she rejected it. Somehow, she survived to become a strong and healthy pastor.

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    • I have no idea what you’re talking about, sir. Have we met? Surely not. Luckily, Zoe loves milk (which I know is not food, but it’s got more going for it than apple juice). She does eat, and she is not wasting away, so it is more annoying than worrying.

      And, yeah, you and Mom can laugh louder than anybody. You’ve earned it.

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  3. You know, the biggest surprise from your rollicking post today is that I really, honestly thought that you, the local pastor and all-around lovely person, would be booked to the back teeth with social engagements.

    So, in lieu of words: !!!

    On picky eating, here are my mother’s thoughts on that subject (as loosely interpreted by me): “A child’s first assertion of individuality occurs when she learns to say ‘no.’ And one of the easiest mediums with which to wield that newly-found individuality is at the supper table.”

    What am I looking forward to doing today? I am looking forward to writing and anticipating a delicious trip to the library.

    I hope your and Zoe’s busy day is wonderful and easy, and if that doesn’t happen because life is what it is, I hope that you are full of that humor that appears to be your natural fallback position. 🙂

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    • Well . . . maybe that’s what everybody thinks? Also, when someone in your family goes to bed at 7:30, it does sort of put a damper on your social life (mostly worth it). It’s not that I’m not busy, of course, but we don’t get many dinner invitations or holiday weekend engagements, for example. And since we moved to a smaller house, we haven’t hosted too many, either. I am really getting into the Friday Play Date, which is much easier to host than a dinner party.

      So far, so good on the busy day. For my next trick, I will bake a bundt cake and fold laundry. At the same time!

      Enjoy the library! Those trips really are delicious, I agree!

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  4. My secret is to always have one thing on the table that the picky child will eat depending on what the new item I am putting down. If this means bread or corn or hot dogs, then so be it. Oh and I gave up forcing kids to eat. Some how, they will survive.

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    • I used to be very anxious about Zoe getting enough to eat, since she was a small baby and we worked hard to get her on the weight gaining track as a newborn, but now I am more relaxed since, as you say, they will survive. And have lots more energy than I do, no matter what we eat! I do notice that if I have alternative foods already on the table, rather than simply a list I suggest to her, she is more likely to eat them. So, instead of saying, “Do you want yogurt? Do you want apple sauce?”, I just set them on her plate and hope for the best.

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  5. kara

    For Hannah I sometimes mix meat and cheese into bi
    scuits! In fact I want to try this cheeseburger in a biscuit it has cheese, beef, mustard and kutchup. I hope it works. I also try putting it in pizza. veggies, cheese, meat so on and so forth, sometime that works. Hannh loves pizza. Otherwise I just give her something she will eat like pb and J or chicken nuggets. But I always try what we are eating first… it is exhausting. Hannah is only something like 23 pounds so I always want her to eat something.

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  6. Nora was a notoriously picky eater when she was young–and all that changed when we joined a CSA when she was about 12 or 13. I remember the light bulb lighting up over her head when she understood that what we got in the box that week was what was ripe and ready to eat. She liked the fact that we were using the recipes sent by the farmers (to borrow your phrase, Pro Tip: join a CSA with kindly farmers who give you recipe suggestions) and now, at nearly 18, loves green beans, broccoli, yes, Brussels sprouts, various preparations of zucchini and the like. She has never been very big, but she’s oh so healthy. The other thing I did, and we still do for this non-breakfast eater, is use the carnation instant breakfasts for some protein and such to get her through the morning at school.

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    • Go, Nora, go! Zoe does love broccoli, except when she doesn’t (she’s two years old, after all). And I don’t mean to say that I want her to be a big, strapping kid–I just want her to be healthy, like Nora. And of course I want her to like Brussels sprouts!

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  7. All kids go through a few periods of not being interested in food in general. It lasts for a few weeks, sometimes. Then the next growth spurt will kick the hungries back in and you won’t be able to keep up. Meanwhile, just make sure that she’s getting something. Try adding some Carnation Instant Breakfast to her milk, or a little Pediasure, not the Pedialite, for a treat.

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    • That’s very true, Lady Lisa Bear! And I find she’s always hungry for ice cream, so at least I know she’s not sick! I will have to look into Carnation Instant Breakfast, since I’ve gotten a few recommendations for that, but I do think she’s doing fine in terms of growth. And she definitely has a healthy amount of energy!

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  8. I try not to worry about pickiness and provide food options that she will eat like bagel bites, chicken nuggets, and bread and butter. Pasta is also a popular choice. Luckily, all these chooses are quick to fix though not the best nutrition. Sometimes, I’ve gotten her to try things by having her help fix meals. As she’s gotten older, she has added a couple items to her food list.

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  9. I’m sorry, but I’m useless when it comes to getting kids to eat. I always went for the “I’m the cool aunt/cousin/friend, and you think I’m the cat’s pajamas. You’ll eat it because I’m eating it” technique. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to watching “Fringe.”

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