New Rule: Child who refuses to eat anything but milk, peanut butter sandwiches, fruit and Morning Star Chik Nuggets is too young to be starting nursery school in September.
Corollary: Child who is 7 months old and eats everything she can get her hands on, including crayons and grass, is also too young to go to school, despite her well developed palate.
Tonight was a dinner of all our leftover summer salads. From the Swiss Chard Quinoa Concoction to Tonya's Potato Salad to the Summer Solstice Salad (heartily expanded by our spinach) we found a menu. We added in a tortellini salad, for the sake of some dairy and for using up our scallions and broccoli. As far as this past week's CSA goes, I have one head of bok choy left, but we're actually heading into tomorrow's share in decent shape.
Back to my picky eater of a 3 year old. Nomi has acid reflux and asthma, either one of which is enough to give a little one hang ups about eating. She spent much of her younger years not gaining weight (18 lbs at 1 year, 19 lbs at 18 months), which means that we put no restrictions on her eating up until recently. She has always been able to eat essentially whatever she wants when she wants it.
Now that she's back on the charts for weight, thank God, we're starting to institute rules. It is a rough road to go from, "Yes, you may have ice cream for dinner, please just take one more bite" to "You may not have ice cream until you finish your dinner." When your child does not eat, when she is not even close to the charts for her age group, you look at ice cream as protein, fat and calcium. Hell, if it's strawberry, you can even get in a fruit food group. You thank God she ate something, ANYTHING that day. I cannot stress what a difference acid reflux medication and maintenance medications for asthma have made in our lives.
David made Tortellini Salad for dinner. Nomi had a banana when she woke up from nap at 4:30. When dinner came at 6:00, she was given several tortellini on her plate, along with broccoli, potato salad, and the oranges and spinach from the Solstice Salad. She was also given a cup of 1% milk. She drank her milk and refused to eat anything else. She then asked for a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat late in the evening, which she ate willingly. I feel like we're starting from scratch with her eating habits, but take comfort in knowing we're at least offering her healthy options.
What rules do you have in your household for meals and snacks? Any suggestions for getting a soon to be preschooler (say it ain't so!) to eat?
David's Tortellini Salad
1 bag frozen cheese tortellini
2 heads broccoli, cut into bit sized pieces
1 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup Brining liquid from bread and butter pickles (we used the brine from the Sweet Fire Pickles from Kristy's)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
1. Begin your water boiling. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions. One minute before they are cooked, add in your broccoli. When cooking is complete, drain pasta and broccoli and rinse until cool to stop the cooking.
2. Meanwhile, mix together brine, pepper flakes, oil and balsamic vinegar. Add pepper flakes and salt to taste. Soak red onion in brine while tortellini and broccoli are cooking.
3. Toss all ingredients together, including scallions. Season to taste. Chill or serve at room temperature. Share and enjoy with your 7 month old. If your 3 year old will eat it, count your blessings.