Whilst I was doing the ironing, I was watching a cooking program and they were talking about deconstructing old favourite recipes. Apparently, this is all the rage. You take a normal meal and you pull it apart and present it in a different way. It’s all very posh and trendy. They showed a strawberry cheesecake, which was a pile of biscuit crumb, then a pile of creamy stuff and then a pile of gooey fruit. The person eating it promptly mixed them all together, which makes the whole deconstruct thing pretty pointless, but it made me chuckle!
So, I have decided my daughter must be posh and trendy, as she eats all her meals deconstructed. Yes, I have a picky eater. Sigh.
I refuse to cook separate meals – as she will live on chicken nuggets and chips and as a dedicated parent (and stubborn to boot) I will not let this happen. Plus, I cannot be asked at the end of each day to cook different things for everyone, I am not a restaurant.
So, this is my Baby Girls version of my homemade macaroni and cheese with crunchy bacon. As I go along, I put a bit of the separate components in little bowls, add a bowl of steamed veggies from the microwave and present it to her. I was going to take a picture of the actual finished macaroni, but by the time I remembered to take a photo, it had been demolished by the other 2 in the house.
Macaroni and Cheese is a bit of a favourite with the rest of us – you see I am not a bad cook. My Baby Girl is not a picky eater because my food tastes awful – I am not saying I don’t have disastrous days sometimes, but mostly I can present a decent nutritious tasty meal on a budget.
I have also tried ALL the recommended parental tricks on her. Don’t you just love it, when someone thinks to offer you their trusted method and they note that their children always ate anything that was put in front of them.
I have tried sending her to bed without dinner. This went on for a week. I found her hiding under the bed clothes eating a purloined packet of dried pasta.
I have tried making her sit there till she ate it. But to be honest, I don’t have 6 hours after a school and work day, to sit and make sure she hasn’t feed it to the dog. Plus, this was the method used on me and I have a near phobia about Pea and Ham soup, even typing the name of it makes my stomach churn. What with homework, music practise, ballet, and all the other things we are running around doing, it is just not very practical.
Also, have you heard the one about giving the same cold dinner back for breakfast. Well, I am not a very nice person in the morning, so I have got mornings down to a very quick efficient time, with no body talking to anybody else. If I had to put up with a full, blown drama queen episode first thing in the morning, then I think you would hear about us on the news.
This is my favourite advice. It takes a child 26 times to taste something – to like it. Yes, that may be true but how do you get them to taste it 26 times, when the first time, after a small sniff and maybe a tongue touch, they declare vehemently that it is the most vile thing EVER!
So, this is my method, she gets the deconstructed portions of our meal, she gets extra vegetables or fruit – which she demolishes and she gets a small bowl of whatever we are having. I know she won’t ever try that small bowl, but you see I will NOT give up – EVER. I am more stubborn than her – years of practise and I care deeply, so every night I will try and introduce her to food.
If she grows out of this very, very, very, very long phase, like my sister says will happen, then I will be relieved. But if she goes off into the world to only ever eat chicken nuggets, well then at least she can’t say that I didn’t try. Oh My Word – I tried.