Confessions of a dietitian mother

My daughter has been eating Halloween treats daily, sometimes in addition to another dessert. 

Sometimes I forget to prepare a vegetable with out meal.

I can’t remember the last meal at home that the kid actually ate or even tried the vegetable I put on her plate.

I suspect that she eats vegetables and fruits for other people without my knowing, just to spite me. 

We always get her the free cookie from the bakery counter when we do our grocery shopping. Because cookies are delicious and it means fewer small hands available to throw groceries out of the cart. 

I cook a lot of different meals from scratch, but what she ends up eating most are Wowbutter sandwiches.

Too often she gets Wowbutter sandwiches because I’m tired of the nightly tantrums at the dinner table; I want to feel like she’s eaten something. 

Last night for dinner we had boiled perogies from a box and canned baked beans. Monday nights are busy and frankly, it is one of the meals that my daughter will happily devour. 

Tonight for supper I made tofu manicotti complete with chunky tomato sauce from scratch. Nobody liked it. 

Like every other parent out there, I’m human. The food and meal choices I make for myself and my family are heavily informed by my training, but I still succumb to a lot of the issues faced by everyone else: lack of time and energy, trying to find meals that please picky palettes. Like so many well-intentioned not-yet-parents, I swore I would rarely let her eat desserts, I would only cook from scratch, I would ban all sugary drinks. I made 98% of her baby food from scratch, she ate it happily. For months her favourite food was tofu, she couldn’t get enough. 

Little has changed in the way that I cook or the foods that are offered. We are busier now than in that first year, resulting in more meals on the fly. But the biggest difference between now and then is that my daughter now has the ability and autonomy to make some of her own dietary choices. Often this means avoiding fruits and vegetables as though they are some sort of hazardous waste that could contaminate the rest of her meal. It just goes to show that even with a nutrition-focused parent, a child may not be model of healthful eating. Your can lead a kid to the vegetables but you can’t force them to eat. 

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