This is a story of hope for all of you parents out there who may be enduring the struggle of a child with picky eating habits. Now, our sons Noah and Luke are notoriously picky eaters. For those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning, you know that my children survived the first three years of their lives on chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh and fruit; they do love apples, berries, bananas, pears, and cantaloupe… I did earn those small victories. And I give them Juice Plus Vitamins (I am a rep if you’re interested in filling the gaps in your kids’ diets). We eventually graduated to spaghetti and hamburgers, but I have had to coerce them to eat any sort of vegetable for most of their lives.
Monday through Thursday there is usually at least one kid at every meal, whining about the smell or the texture of the item on the plate in front of them. But Friday nights in our home are pizza and movie night. It’s the one night of the week when no one whines about their dinner. It is glorious. I look forward to Friday night like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. We hold this as a sacred ritual and have for the past several years. I believe this has helped me hang onto a little of my sanity.
I usually make a salad to go with the pizza so that we don’t only eat dough and cheese— though it’s delicious— and we have always thrown a few of the veggies onto the kids’ plates mostly for color but also to pretend like they will someday enjoy biting into a carrot or a red pepper.
Today, friends…today was that day. October 11, 2019, Luke declared the following words (and I quote): “I can’t decide what I love more, Benito’s breadsticks or salad.”
SALAD…I want that to sink in for you all.
Luke. The pickiest eater in Michigan, arguably in the United States of America, hater of mac and cheese and tacos, despiser of lasagna for crying out loud?! Said he loves salad…
…I held back tears. I beheld his little ranch smeared face and stifled a sob of joy.
Moms and dads, let this story light a flame of hope in your frustrated hearts. When your hands cramp up from grating carrots or zucchini into your spaghetti sauce or you wonder how many pouches a kid must eat to stay alive and not become malnourished, prepubescence will come and your child will eat new things. I promise. You won’t be sending them to bed hungry forever or fearing the threat of scurvy.
Keep up the good fight.