For the Love of Peas

March 3rd, 2010

“Miss Mouse, I want you to eat a few more bites of noodles, and then you may have more peas.”

I confess that when I pondered what motherhood would be like, I didn’t foresee myself uttering that phrase. And yet, here we are, a year and a half later, and I find myself regularly trying to cajole my offspring into eating something other than fruits and vegetables.

Don’t get me wrong. I love that Miss Mouse has a fondness for freggies (fruits and veggies). Her standard breakfast is a banana. Diced red bell pepper is always a popular snack. She eats cooked carrots by the handful and loves nothing more than to slowly eat large portions of peas and corn, one small piece at a time. And don’t get me started on her mandarin orange habit. It’s like crack.

And all of that is awesome. The only problem is — she doesn’t like to eat much else. Like, say, meat and other protein sources. The only two meats that my wee one will eat in my presence are beef and bean burritos and tuna noodle casserole. She comes home from school with reports of meals consumed that include things like chicken nuggets and ham sandwiches but I have my doubts. I’ve noticed they tend to write down what was served, not necessarily what was eaten.

So I spend a lot of time thinking about protein and how to get some into her. She’ll eat peanut butter and jelly toast, which is good. And she loves pasta, so cheese tortellini make frequent appearances. And grilled cheese sandwiches. And quiche. The kid loves quiche. I make her veggie quiche and freeze it in pieces for an easy-to-grab dinner. I plan to sneak diced meat into her next quiche to see if I can trick her.

It’s an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, I think of her as pretty picky because she rarely deigns to eat what Josh and I are having for dinner (we tend to be pretty “meat and potatoes” in our meals). On the other hand, I know children who will only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and would no more chew a veggie than bite into a stick of dynamite. So I think we’re petty fortunate. At least she won’t get scurvy.

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