Monday, April 9, 2012

Our Journey

I am just a mom who wants the best for her child. I have a three year old daughter, H, who is VERY picky. All she ever wants to eat are chicken nuggets, cheese quesadillas, and jelly sandwiches. Sometimes toast or a cereal bar for breakfast. On top of being a picky eater, she also doesn't have a huge appetite and eats like a bird. It drives me crazy! I've had jobs working with kids in the past, and have realized how frustrating it is to have a child that doesn't eat well. When I was pregnant with H, I remember thinking, "I hope she is a good eater when she is older!" more than once. When she was small, she ate very well. She was breastfed exclusively until around 5 months, when we added some organic oatmeal, and homemade fruit and veggie purees. She would eat almost any sort of fruit or vegetable I gave her, and even enjoyed it! That didn't last very long, and now at age 3, it is difficult to get her to try anything. I have about a 50/50 chance of getting her to even TRY something she says she doesn't like, let alone get her to actually chew and swallow it, and even take a chance at liking it. Being as I was such a stickler when she was younger - breastmilk only, no juice, homemade baby food, organic as much as possible...I was always so proud of the food I fed my daughter. She became picky, I was wasting food because she wouldn't eat much of it, it became frustrating...I ended up giving in to the crap food she wanted all the time. As she is getting older, and the more I read on the nasty, nasty things in processed food and fast food, it horrifies me that I let junk like that enter my tiny little girl's growing body. I decided to stop ignoring that voice in the back of my head, stop pretending I didn't know any better, stop avoiding articles about the bad stuff...basically stop being naive and ignorant. I know better. I want to be a better mom to my girl, and stop giving into the "easy" foods, stop being cheap, and make sure my daughter gets wholesome, good food. It starts today.

There has been more than one occasion where I have tried to do this in the past, and have failed. Why? Because I tried to take on too much at once. I am kind of a "all or nothing" type person. My house is full of crap food at the moment (just keeping it real), so I always felt the need to throw (or, more than likely, give away) everything out, and start over. Let's be realistic for a moment...that really just isn't possible, feasible, economical, or even very smart. This isn't a fad, this is a life change. It won't happen overnight. We are starting slowly.

I decided to tackle a couple of H's favorite meals first...chicken nuggets and quesadillas. Buying organic chicken tenders, breading them myself, baking them, and popping them in the freezer for her to enjoy instead of the processed chicken nuggets in our freezer now is the first step. I'd like to try my hand at homemade tortillas someday, but at the moment haven't really discovered yet how hard (or easy?!) that may be. Other things she likes to eat (most of the time!) are rice, pancakes, jelly sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, hotdogs, cinnamon toast...and that is really it. I guess my first goal is to have some homemade, healthy/as organic as possible versions of her favorite foods on hand. I'd also like to increase her fruit/veggie consumption. She loves most fruit, but does not like many veggies. I need to start figuring out how to get her to eat more (ha!), convince her to try them more, or at the very least, hide them in some of her favorite foods!

Starting with the chicken nuggets tomorrow. Post (with recipe, and pictures!) to follow. Wish me luck.I'm not much of a cook!


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