If mealtime madness continues, this mom may have to go on strike again

Getting kids to eat healthy can be a real challenge

By Sandra Ali - Anchor/Reporter

It was exactly this time last year when I went on strike. I decided I was done making meals for my family that no one ate.

DETROIT - It was exactly this time last year when I went on strike. I decided I was done making meals for my family that no one ate. This is no joke. I know other moms have been there. The struggle is real when it comes to mealtimes.

Before you judge me or think I am a mean mom, you have to hear the back story.  I am happy to share any and all details to anyone who will listen, but I can sum it up in two words -- picky eaters.  

Depending on the season, the day of the week, or even the holiday, my babies all take turns being difficult at the dinner table. It usually does not all happen at once, they take turns. 

Dinner time usually serves up the most drama. Last Wednesday, when I looked around, every single member of our family was having something different at dinner. Including the babies, who are now very quickly developing their own likes and dislikes, plus their own individual preferences. 

My youngest toddler loves fruits and veggies and he likes to drink his yogurt in a smoothie. His brother loves red meat and cheese, and he will only eat yogurt in a bowl. My 6-year-old used to be my best eater.  

I would feel so lucky bragging on the playground and at preschool about how I had a "veggie girl."      Oh, she loves whole, raw foods, I would say.  Beaming with pride. It made me so happy when she would devour two whole avocados and wash them down with a couple of tomatoes and then ask for a side of carrots.  

Or when we went out to dinner when she was in kindergarten and she would order a salad. I did not know how lucky I was back then last year. Now when I pick her up after school the conversation is usually the same in the car.  She will ask about when I can start packing her rainbow Airheads. 

Every day I pack a pretty healthy lunch.  I always ask what kind of sandwiches they like and if they have certain fruits or veggies they are in the mood for that day.  

Aside from the obvious, like no, you are not getting any airheads I like to make sure they get packed lunches they enjoy.  

Can you imagine what went through my mind when suddenly my children's lunches started coming home untouched? Fully packed, cheerful, happy, healthy lunch boxes completely untouched. When we talked about it, she said, "Oh, I always run out of time to eat."  

All mothers are born to investigate.  When I got to the bottom of it, I found out, my savvy little            first-grader discovered the lunch line.  For her, a magical little place, where the sweet lunch ladies give her whatever she wants and it is charged to some account somewhere in a land far, far away, where mommy pays for it.  

I put an end to that, quickly.  No more nacho cheese plates for the girl who does not touch Mexican food and no more cinnamon rolls the size of your head from the school cafeteria.

It was all getting thrown out, along with the packed lunch I was making at the crack of dawn every morning.     

Even after all that, I crossed the picket line at the start of 2019 and I am no longer on strike.  I am back in the kitchen, and I will keep trying. I bought an instant pot, which I just got this past week and have already used twice.  

In fact this morning I made shredded BBQ chicken in our slow cooker. I went in thinking, what is the worst that could happen?

At least I know the babies will have some.  I guess I was aiming too high.  Let’s just say the hubby and I enjoyed the chicken for dinner.  The babies would not even taste it, instead they both screamed for pineapple.  

My 6-year-old ate pickles, followed by popcorn.  My 9-year-old had last night’s leftover pizza. Tomorrow I am planning to try to feed the toddlers that chicken and see if they will at least give it a chance.  I don’t know long I will keep trying.  

If the madness continues, I may go on strike again, and then everyone can just have cereal.           

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