I went and did something totally crazy this week. You may be shocked at why I brought this misery upon the Hewitt house…but it had to be done. Yes, I banished chicken nuggets from my house.
Well first, I’ve been lazy. Well that’s not true, I work my a** off! But I’ve been slacking in meal planning and preparation department. I’ve been ‘dieting’ and eating more frequent smaller meals, and making ‘kid’ food for the kids. Plus my husband’s schedule is chaotic, and he doesn’t eat dinner with us often, and I’ve fallen into a vicious circle of convenience. It was only after I realized I was warming chicken nuggets for the fourth straight night that I realized what I was doing.
Seriously? Processed food every single night for a week? My kids deserve better nutrition…and so do I.
I never meant for this to happen. In fact prior to having kids I would watch friends and family members serve their children different meals than the adults and whisper, “we are never doing that. Our kids will eat what we eat or they won’t eat at all.” Yeah right! Well, at least the nuggets I served were organic…that’s something right?
The CNE (chicken nugget experiment) wasn’t planned though, I didn’t research and prep nutritious and kid friendly recipes. Who has time for that? On Monday morning I rummaged the cabinets veggies and decided on a whim to make Chicken Stir Fry with veggies and Jasmine rice. I mean come on….yum-my! I was ready for a family meal, and the kids like rice, some of the veggies, and chicken. Win-win.
Lila didn’t agree.
She refused to eat it and said, “you are being mean mom! This isn’t fair. This food is disgusting and I’m not eating it!” Wait, isn’t it mean and unfair to call my cooking disgusting? (I envisioned Ralphie’s mom in A Christmas Story putting a bar of soap in his mouth. Do parents still do that?)
And of course her baby sister copies everything Lila does, so my 2 year old said “ick. no eat”. Emy eventually did eat 5-6 bites, but not my five year old. No way. Lila was ready to battle, and was resisting this change with all of her fury. She eventually retreated to the calm couch and the yelling stopped…for a minute. Then she went to the thinking spot where this tantrum occurred.
|I was going to post the video, but who wants to hear a kid screaming?!|
Lila eventually ended up eating strawberries and mixed vegetables. So basically I caved. I wanted the family to all eat the same thing, but Night 1 was not as successful as I planned, so time to strategize.
Night 2 we decided would be taco night. Lila used to love black beans and rice, and Emy usually inhales them. So I made a pot, and hard and soft shell chicken tacos. We told Lila she just had to try a bite of the taco. She refused. Then Emy threw her taco on the floor. Eventually we gave Lila a little bit of everything, and she ended up eating a tortilla with cheese, and some black beans and rice. Emy ate lots of rice and beans as well as a tortilla. Still no meat, but at least we were getting somewhere.
Night 3 was easier, as it was pasta night. Emy always eats spaghetti and meatballs, and Lila loves plain pasta. We did get her to try a bite of the meat sauce, but she gagged and said she was going to throw up. They both ate fresh green beans as well. And it was the first night they got to eat dessert. Could we actually do this?
Night 4 I had a late shoot and our nanny cooked dinner. They had sliced ham with leftover pasta and carrots. She said it went smooth…whew! (Lucky her.)
And Night 5, Friday night was pizza night. We always make homemade pizzas on Friday, and afterwards watch a movie with popcorn. This of course was a hit.
Clearly I didn’t get carried away the first week with meals. I tried to make things simple with foods I thought they would like. Ironically on Saturday we went to a friends house for dinner, and she made chicken nuggets. Guess what? Neither of my kids would eat them. Go figure.
So this week I’m learning from my mistakes with the CNE, but no we are not giving up! I’ve planned and started the week off with something they liked. Sunday dinner, was a roast turkey breast (love the leftovers), sweet potatoes, green beans and corn casserole.
I also discovered some awesome whole food websites with great recipes and ideas for kids. Slowly we are going to try to cut down on processed foods…including Cheerios and Goldfish. I really love this website called 100 Days of Real Food, which has a comprehensive kids recipes list.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and I know it’s hard on them to have to try new things. But honestly I’m doing what I had always intended to as a parent. The CNE may mean I need to spend more time on food prep and less time blogging. Or less time on social media or watching TV. But ultimately, my family’s health is the most important thing. And I want them to learn healthy habits, be a bit more adventurous, and save the nuggets for when I really just don’t want to cook.