I’m trying hard to get back to serving one meal for the whole family. I’m not terrible about serving us the same thing, but I often make an extra component – a big one – for the kids only. I’d like to stop but every time I do I end up falling back into bad habits and start back up.
Here are some dinner examples:
1. Stewed meat, rice pilaf, green beans: Neither kid will touch the meat. They both eat the rice and green beans and I also give them fresh mozzarella. R has a snack of a cheese stick and a cereal bar before bed (his only options).
2. Pasta with bolognese sauce, raw sugar snap peas, salad: I put some pasta aside without sauce for the kids and add a generous amount of salted butter. They both also eat huge bowls of sugar snap peas and romaine lettuce with no dressing as well. R asks for popcorn a little while later and I make it for all of us. He eats almost the whole batch himself despite eating a ton of pasta, snap peas and romaine.
3. Broccoli cream soup with shredded cheese and homemade croutons: Neither kid tries the soup. Raffi says “yuck” but I tell him he has to try one bite before he can eat his other food. He tries it and says it is disgusting. I’m not sure if it was the right move to force him to try it, but I was annoyed. Ali doesn’t push her bowl away but she only plays with the soup. Both kids eat a ton of croutons and cheese + leftover cooked broccoli and pasta from another night.
4. Baked salmon, roasted asparagus, pilaf: I don’t even bother putting salmon on Raffi’s plate, which I should have. Ali doesn’t touch her salmon and neither child accepts the cooked asparagus on their plate. They’ve both eaten asparagus raw before though while helping me prep a meal. I would have thought they would have liked it more cooked! For dinner they both eat big bowls of pilaf and some berries. Raffi asks for milk and cereal before bed and I give it to him. He eats 2.5 bowls.
I wouldn’t say my kids are picky as they will try (or at least lick) lots of new foods. However they just don’t LIKE a lot of stuff. And forget dinners that are a meal in one pot. If my kids, especially Raffi, can’t determine exactly what’s in a dish, they won’t eat it.
Sometimes they surprise me though.
When we went to Turks & Caicos Raffi ate fried rice and loved it. He kept asking for more and more and more. I honestly didn’t even think he would want to try it, but he did and loved it. I am guessing there are many reasons – he was really hungry from a day in the sun, he watched the cook make it, and we were all eating the same exact thing. I’d like to recreate that environment at home as much as possible in the hopes that he learns to love more foods.
At 3.5 he is still basically a vegetarian. He will eat chicken in rotisserie form or chicken finger form maybe 1 time a month, and doesn’t touch any other animal proteins. Ali likes meat, but she is particular about when, how, what, and how much she will eat of it. Both kids will happily eat almost any raw vegetable or fruit I put in front of them.
It’s hard to cook and eat together every night, especially on work nights. I try to keep things as simple as possible which includes serving everyone individually instead of family-style. “They” say that serving family-style is how we should do it though. But who wants to clean all those serving dishes every night? It takes a lot of energy just to cook and clean up as it is, especially with two kids who are still learning not to drop 1,000 grains of rice on the floor.
What do you cook for dinner? I’d love some more ideas of meals I can prepare for the 4 of us while making mealtime pleasurable for all of us. That means at least one component the kids will love and enjoy eating. I think that will be the solution to me sticking with the one meal for all of us.
We are kind of stuck here. We already used up the most perfect boy’s name – Raffi – and the most perfect girl’s name – Alessandra. And now we’re having another girl and nothing sounds just right.
We have a challenging list of criteria.
1. Her name has to be easily pronounced by the Italians, Jordanians, Armenians, and Americans in our family. Raffi and Alessandra both fit that bill so well. It’s not an easy task.
2. Her name has to sound good with our last name.
3. Her name has to sound good as the 3rd (OMG I just wrote 4th lol) in a pile of siblings – Raffi, Alessandra and ______.
4. No funny initials like E.G.G. I love a few names that start with E and go with middle names that start with G, but I will NOT have a daughter with the initials egg hahaha.
For now I’m calling her B-I-N-G-O in my head, since that’s the name Raffi chose for her. We have a few top contenders, but nothing sounds perfect to me just yet.
What are your favorite names these days? Help us find the perfect name!
Other tasks on my mind are figuring out what things we will need for an infant on the beach. I also want a new highchair since I regularly want to throw ours off the balcony. I probably should also get a travel baby chair that is really light and easy to transport to the beach. We LOVE our Babysitter Balance, but I don’t want it to get junked up by the ocean air and sandy beach. In case you haven’t figured it out by this paragraph, I’m clearly excited to spend a lot of time on the beach this summer.
Oh! I still need to go through and reorganize all of the kids’ clothes. I’ve determined that I have enough clothing for the new baby, save for a new baby hat, some fresh onesies, and a few other small things. But now I need to figure out how to pare Ali’s closet down enough to allow for Raffi’s clothes. Then I want to revamp the baby’s room and get it a little more ready.
It’s a goal of mine to select and purchase new kitchen chairs before this baby is born. We’re down to 4 of 6 chairs, and 2 of them have rips. They’ve had a good run – coming to Philadelphia with me after two years in my Cranston condo. Somehow my mom’s leather kitchen chairs lasted 15 years, but these only lasted 8 with two casualties. Are things really made so differently now? Or did they spend more for a better product? Or am I just doing a crap job of taking care of our stuff?
I guess there’s a lot more on my mind than just the baby’s name, but thinking of who she will be and what we will call her is the most fun task at hand. I can’t believe we’re having another baby girl!!