Sunday, June 29, 2008

Food Wars

The children are officially on a food strike. Actually, let me clarify that - they are on a nutritious food strike. In the past, food has never been an issue with the boys. Cade was an adventurous eater from an early age, eagerly consuming foods such as sushi (the safe kind - with the fake crab) and Indian foods (the spicier, the better) before he had even turned one. A glance at Drew's baby pictures from months 4 to about 18 clearly demonstrate the he never met a food he didn't like. My doctor mistakenly suspected twins very early in my pregnancy with Drew and he was such a big baby and ate so much food that we have a running family joke that he ate his twin.

But they have both officially outgrown that now. The short list of foods they will happily eat includes:
-Macaroni and cheese (only the DayGlo orange Kraft variety)
-Peanut Butter and Jelly (will accept on whole grain wheat bread with all-natural peanut butter, as long as the jam isn't sugar-free)
-Cereals of pretty much any kind, including Kashi (which just infuriates Aaron since he is pretty much staunchly opposed to any foods that are either organic, environmentally sound, or perceived to be politically correct in any way)
-Oatmeal (as long as there is brown sugar)
-Apple sauce (all natural, sugar free)
-Yogurt (must be the generic Publix bright pink or blue kids yogurt cups)
-Fruit leather - kinda like a Fruit Roll-Up, but with no sugar added
-Bratwurst (does this count as a food?)

Drew will still consume certain fruits, provided he is in the mood. He will eat an entire pineapple one day, only to deem pineapple completely unacceptable the next week. But by introducing a carefully orchestrated fruit rotation, I can get him to ingest watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes (only red ones), and oranges. And the occasional apple, which he will chew and then regurgitate undigested, but I figure it counts because some of the nutrients absorb during chewing, right?

Cade eats no fruits (too mushy!) and no "begetables" (no reason cited). He will choke down the three or so bites that I mandate in order to earn some other food goal (like a handful of Cheese Nips), but the negotiation and gagging involved hardly make it worth my energy. We have even gotten to the point where he will no longer accept bananas carefully disguised in banana bread.

I love to cook, but I refuse to cater to their food demands by making special meals. Every night (okay, most nights) I prepare a delicious meal with ingredients that I think will be acceptable to most members of the family and we sit down to eat as a family. Drew will pick out and consume the tolerable components of the meal, but Cade doesn't even try the food, and the other night he was so bold as to take one look at the pasta dish and exclaim, "Wow! Disgusting!"

Since they rarely eat at meals, they are naturally hungry (and begging for inappropriate snack foods) all day long. It is making me absolutely CRAZY this summer. I always swore I would never make food an issue, but this is getting ridiculous! I don't have a problem with anyone eating a handful of animal crackers IF they have eaten dinner, but small children cannot exist on Goldfish crackers alone and I am sick to death of playing Food Police. A good friend with kids the same ages cracked down by purging her house of all junk food, which I keep saying I'm going to do, but can't bring myself to do. Isn't there any other way to win the Food Wars?

No comments: