Breakfasts are easy. When he is eating with his grandparents, on work days, it's always oatmeal. Always. In fact, he ONLY eats oatmeal there. I must not make it the same. He also loves pancakes, cheerios, berries, rice krispies, toast, eggs (sometimes), bacon, sausage, and other breakfast foods. He loves going out for breakfast, and Cora's is definitely a favourite. He gobbles up everything, and usually doesn't stop at the edge of his plate, stealing his favourites off everyone else's. Breakfast really isn't a problem, and is sometimes doubled up as supper. (Really, there's nothing better than breakfast for supper!)
Snacks are easy too - apples, pears, bananas, berries, goldfish crackers, dry cereal, yogurt, raisins, graham crackers, and some treats.
Right now, I'm concerned with his lunches. A typical week of lunches looks like this:
- Chicken finger/nuggets, raw bell peppers, and fries (potato or sweet potato)
- Spaghetti (with extra hidden tomatoes and mushrooms)
- Tomato & Beef Macaroni (especially this recipe!)
- A "picker" plate - Ham, a boiled egg, veggies (peppers and mushrooms, usually), crackers, and sometimes seeds or dried cranberries - I call it a picker plate, because he picks at it, and I just hope that he gets enough to fill him up
- Beans, especially Bush's Maple beans, and crackers
- English Muffin pizza, with sauce, mushrooms, peppers, Barbour's pizza spice mix (he goes crazy with it!), and a little cheese
- Campbell's chicken noodle soup, with the Frozen characters - this is a new one
- Fish (salmon, haddock, trout) and rice (usually with some frozen peas and carrots, but he rarely eats them)
One thing I don't understand is that he doesn't like cheese! No mac and cheese for this kid! No grilled cheeses. No chicken and cheese tortilla roll-ups. No cheese chunks on his plate to add a little more substance to his meal. We were able to get him eating a little cheese on pizza, but that's the extent of it. I should be happy that he doesn't like cheese, but it's kind of a staple for most "kid" food.
I know there is a lot of advice out there for picky eaters. I've always just gone with my gut. I never force him to eat anything that he doesn't want to. My method has always been to offer him what we're eating. If he eats it, he eats it. (Yahoo!) If he doesn't, I don't force it, but will often offer him some yogurt, fruit and crackers later on. I certainly don't want him to starve (or get too "hangry"), but I also don't want meals to be a big fight or source of stress for the family. We just keep trying new things, hoping he'll like something.
This summer, my goal is to find some new foods that C will eat. Tonight, I'm trying some homemade soup. Tomorrow, it will be something else. If I can find three more lunches for him, I will call it a mommy win. Let me know if you have any suggestions, send them to me!