How I’m Learning to Deal with Picky Eaters

I have a confession to make. Last week alone, I fed my kid “chik’n” nuggets, grilled cheese and quesadillas … and I’m okay with it.

I never intended to buy frozen food, heat it up and serve it on a regular basis. I know my mom never did that (did you, mom? Because the only thing I’m pretty sure you bought frozen was tortellini, but you made it with your homemade sauce so that doesn’t count, right?) … and before kids, our dinners consisted of grilled meats and fishes, healthy grains, homemade sauces and dressings, salads and even homemade bread. So what happened?

how to deal with a picky eater toddler

I have a picky eater. My (almost) 3-year-old doesn’t like vegetables. Not even the so-called “kid-friendly” vegetables like broccoli or carrots (yes, people have told me that these are the veggies kids like). He doesn’t even really like pizza!

So how are we surviving? Here’s how I’ve learned to live with it:

  • Stop comparing and beating myself up. Before having kids, I’d heard people say that if you feed kids what you eat then they’ll have to eat it. Let’s just say that that’s not the case. That’s what we’ve tried to do, but my son is perfectly happy not eating dinner. If we’re eating something he doesn’t like, he’s happy going to bed without eating and then waking up at 3 a.m. starving. For his well-being (and attempt not to wake up at 3 a.m.), I prefer that not be the case.
  • Never give up. Just because he doesn’t like something the first time (or the 5th time), doesn’t mean he always won’t like it. And, the more he sees us eating different foods, the more likely he is to try them. You can imagine my astonishment when one day he reached for a drumstick off my husband’s plate and took a bite. And now “chicken on the bone” (as he calls it) is something he loves.
  • Find a food your kid loves and sneak the good stuff in it. My son loves muffins. We call him the muffin man. So you’d better bet that we’ve made spinach muffins, lentil muffins, zucchini cauliflower muffins, etc. Is he eating spinach or lentils or zucchini on a regular basis? Not by itself, but definitely in a muffin. And, after he’s eaten the muffins, I do tell him what is in there. His favorite muffin is a banana, zucchini, lentil, chocolate chip muffin.
  • Make mealtime fun. The last thing I want is to make dinner stressful. So maybe we’ll put the peas on his plate in the shape of a letter C. Or maybe the roasted carrots will be standing up. OR, maybe I’ll hide a gummy fruit snack under a few pieces of vegetables for him to find. And if he doesn’t eat them, he doesn’t eat them – but at least they make him smile.

Do you have any tips for fellow moms of picky eaters?

Note: This post originally appeared on my page on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine’s website. I blog for them on occasion- see what else I have to say there!

Last September Weekend

If you can believe it, September is gone. And to celebrate, I’m sharing a quick weekend recap, one-sentence-per-photo style.

We kicked off the weekend with a trip to the Natural History Museum.

It was a gorgeous Friday to enjoy their outdoor animal area (which has some play areas for kids).

Saturday we did some shopping at the West Side Market.

It had been too long since we had been there.

We took an afternoon stroll around the neighborhood.

And ended up on the nearby playground.

The weekend also included a little run with this lady in the stroller.

We also got in a nice walk around the neighborhood.

And finished up with dinner at the grandparents’ house with the cousins!

A quick post for a weekend gone way too quick.

Some questions for you:

  • How many cousins do you have?
  • Did you run this weekend?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Feels Like Fall Up Here

It finally has started feeling like fall here! Which makes sense, because Saturday was the first official day of fall and it was only in the 50s all day.

Do I prefer summer? Yuppppp! But it was still a good few days.

Some of the fun included:

Finally getting to see the Infinite Mirrors exhibit by Kusama at the art museum.

If you ever have a chance to so this, i HIGHLY recommend it. It was amazing.

After the exhibit, we decided to get some wine and cheese, which was the perfect way to end the night.

The weekend also included some homemade pizza. FW helpes with the dough.

Saturday was pretty fun, too. We started off the day with a trip to one of the coolest playgrounds nearby and met up with Celia and Maura and Maddie.

FW had a blast with Celia.

And I’m sure LM had fun with Maura, too.

The day also included some basil picking and pesto making.

And even a short walk.

And B and I made dinner together, which hasn’t happened in FOREVER.

Penne with bacon, leeks and mushrooms.

The night ended pretty boring- catching up on work with football and ice cream as aids (I had a Sunday a.m. deadline and a call that started at 11pm).

Sunday morning fun included a family run!

We brought our nephew and niece along for the ride, too.

The day also included a walk and ANOTHER playground visit!

And some monkeying around with the cousins.

I have another busy week at work coming up, so I also tried to get in all the snuggles I could.

We finished off the weekend with dinner at B’s parents’ house. And make-your-ow sundaes!

And now I’m ready to take on a crazy week! Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite sundae topping? I’m team caramel ober chocolate syrup any day!
  • Did it feel like fall near you?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps

Living For Weekends

Welp, last week was my first full week back at work after maternity leave. And I’m not gonna lie, it was a doozy. I put in more hours than I have in a while, and working late plus little sleep (yay toddler and 3 month old) made me SO pumped for the weekend! And thank goodness, it was a good weekend.

B and FW made dinner Friday night, which meant we were able to have homemade pizza on the porch!

Saturday started out with breakfast for FW and me. We both had eggs – his were in fun shapes.

Then, I took FW out for a run.

It was pretty much perfect running weatherweather- low 60s and cloudy. We got in a little more than 4 miles.

Also, when did FW get so old? He looks so old compared to LM!

For dinner B made homemade pasta, which is pretty much my favorite comfort food. He also grilled some scallops for the perfect meal.

It stayed perfect weather for an after dinner walk.

Sunday morning started with pancakes! B made us all breakfast.

The day included some catching up on work, chores (yay for laundry … and then more laundry after a blowout) and a trip to The Container Store.

The rest of the day was low key, especially since it was pouring rain and super windy all day long. We didn’t make it outside for a walk or run or anything. Instead, we watched football and did some reading.

But, we did make it to B’s family’s home for dinner. FW got to enjoy some time playing with his cousins.

AND how excited are you for this? I’m a little afraid on how it’s going to portray CLE, but excited to see what’s in store for one of my favorite podcasts.

Some questions for you:

  • Did you have crazy rainy weather this weekend?
  • What kind of workout do you do if you can’t get outside?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Wonderful Long Weekends

A good three-day weekend with the family can put you in the best of moods – don’t you agree?

I had a really nice weekend with our family of four. The weather was pretty amazing and felt like a great way to wrap up summer. Our days involved plenty of outside time, running, baseball, baking and more.

Friday night included some of my favorites – patio beers with B, a walk with FW (we walked to pick up our CSA) AND dinner outside on our porch.

Saturday morning, we took a trip to the local farmers market. There’s one we can walk to, so LM and I ran there while B and FW rode the bike.

We picked up some fruit and meat for dinner.

The afternoon included an impromptu trip to the lake to watch the annual Labor Day air show. We got there just in time to catch the Blue Angels! FW was amazed by the loud and fast planes.

That night, B cooked us a pretty amazing meal that just screamed summer. AND it was all local food – the steak was from the Saturday farmers market, the bunching onions were from the farmers market at FW’s school and the corn and potatoes were from our CSA.

Sunday morning started off pretty perfect as well! B and FW surprised me with bagels. My favorite bagel, an everything, was even warm when we ate on the porch.

They also picked up a local blend if everything bagel seasoning.

We decided to go for a little family run together before it got too hot out. It was out fastest family stroller run since we became a family of 4.

That afternoon, while B did some yard work, FW and I made muffins! He loves these chocolate chip banana lentil muffins.

And then it was time for baseball! We left LM with a babysitter, and FW, B and I went to the Indians game. We stayed for the whole game- I was impressed with how good he was for 9 innings.

Monday brought a lot of fun, too. We started off the day with a trip to the park for a picnic with some other mommas and their kiddos, too. FW loved the playground and I had fun catching up with my friends.

The afternoon included some meal prep grocery shopping and even a 2ish mile family walk. It was 90+ degrees out, so it was a sloooow walk and hot.

And that night was our fantasy football draft! I’ve never played before, so this should be interesting … maybe it will get me more intrested in football?

Some questions for you:

  • Are you obsessed with everything bagel seasoning too? What do you use it for?
  • Do you like baseball?
  • Do you play fantasy football?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Visiting the Farm (plus beer, running and more)

It was another great weekend in CLE, and it was nice to have a weekend to ourselves with no weddings or big events planned. Which meant we of course ended up packing in tons of fun activities into the two days.

Friday night started with an impromptu birthday celebration for B’s brother. We went to the Flats for pizza, beer and bocce with the kids to celebrate FW’s uncle John.

After dinner, we got to take a walk along the water with FW’s cousins.

Saturday, we started off the day with a walk (me and LM) and bike ride (FW, B and his grandparents) to the farmers market.

After picking up some veggies for dinner and taking in the music, we headed home. Because we had some fun activities planned for the rest of the afternoon – FW and I were going to my Ladies Craft Beer Society together! My friend Reanna was hosting and she has a large property with bees, chickens, goats and more.

FW loves animals and couldn’t wait to see the chickens and the goats. So, after I hung out with the ladies and completed my craft (the macrame plant holder FW is holding), it was time to explore!

FW LOVED the chickens and goats. He was able to feed them both and follow them around for a while. He really enjoyed the farm and now of course I want some chickens!

Saturday night, B grilled up some veggie burgers and veggies we had gotten at the Farmers Market. I love farm fresh meals in the summer!!

Sunday morning started with a stroller run for the family- B took LM and I took FW for a 3.33 mi route. After we finished, we decided to keep running another 1.5 or so miles to literally run some errands. I was pooped (and FW’s face shows how I felt).

Sunday afternoon included some pancakes for FW. He even helped make them.

And naps! All around.

Followed by yard work, groceries for the week (and a little meal planning/prep) plus cleaning. This totally counts as cleaning, right?

And to end our weekend, per usual, we enjoyed Sunday dinner at B’s parents’ house. FW and LM are so lucky- they got to see Grandma and Grandpa 3 days in a row this weekend (and 4 days for Grandma, who babysat on Thursday!).

Some questions for you:

  • What types of chores, if any, do you do on weekends?
  • Do you take naps?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Mary is Married!

We had a GREAT weekend filled with good food and celebrations here in Cleveland. Why? My sister-in-law Mary got married!

Thursday night was the rehearsal dinner and it was right in her parents (B’s parents) backyard. We had a great backyard bbq and the weather was perfect!

Some of the food – brisket, pasta, asparagus, salad and bread!

My parents also came into town to help watch the kids during the festivities. So, Friday morning my mom and started the day with mother-daughter pedicures. My feet needed it!

My parents helped watch the kids at the ceremony in the church. FW was pretty good but LM got fussy about halfway through. I was so glad they were there to help out and of course spend time with us!

FW took some selfies while we waited for the event to begin …

After the church it was time for the party! The event took place at an old arcade downtown and it was a beautiful location. FW loved dancing and of course seeing the beautiful bride!

Me and my other sister-in-law hung out as well (we also shared an Uber home since our husbands – brothers of the bride – went to the after party).

B and I got to dance a little after my parents took the kids home. It was nice to have some kid-free time. 

It was a late night, so Saturday was pretty slow. We all took naps (bonus points since both LM and FW napped at the same time that afternoon!) but then went out for a walk in the late afternoon. We stopped a playground for FW.

And then walked to get some pizza! Mushroom, pepperoni and roasted garlic, yum!

After FW was in bed, B and I watched I, Tonya. Have you seen it? I thought it was pretty good. I’m not super into figure skating and didn’t know much about the incident. I know it was a movie, but I still felt like I learned a lot.

Sunday morning, B made us all pancakes! Even a special blueberry bear for FW. 

Then, the four of us went for a run outside. The weather was so much better – low 70s and not humid – and it made it much more bearable than last week’s hot and humid run. I pushed FW, while B pushed LM in the stroller.

Total, we got in about 3.7 miles – my longest(and fastest!) postpartum run to date!

Sunday afternoon was another lazy one – we all took naps again (!yay!) but played outside, went for a walk and played with my newest toy – a RHUMBA! I bought it for Prime Day and LOVE it so far.

That about sums up our wedding weekend. Still one more to go (my cousin’s) this summer!

Some questions for you:

  • Did it cool down near you?
  • Do you have a smart vacuum or robot vacuum?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!