I should warn you - I'm sulking. I know Henry is only 16 months old and has no real concept of his actions, but tonight's dinner experience has left me feeling drained and a bit sad. And yes, I tend to be melodramatic.
I think the problem is that tonight I planned dinner solely with Henry in mind. Since we haven't had much feeding success the last couple of days, I really tried to appeal to what Henry likes. And like most kids, Henry likes sweet food. I try to pretend that he likes lots of different foods, but really when it comes down to it, the sweeter the food, the more he wants it. So, tonight I not only made a sweet vegetable (butternut squash), but I roasted it to make it even sweeter, AND added brown sugar. I don't add sugar to veggies...I really was struggling.
The dish was super easy to prepare (thank you Costco for now selling cubed butternut squash!!), it smelled amazing while it was roasting, and it tasted amazing. As soon as I tasted it (before Henry tried it), I even called my mom to tell her how great this dish was (I thrive on praise, and I know I'll always get it from my mom!). And then it came time for Henry to eat. The dish was butternut squash and chickpeas. I knew he'd likely snub the chickpeas, but I figured he'd try the butternut squash. He likes sweet potatoes (or at least he did??), so I figured the butternut squash would look similar enough for him to taste it. I was wrong. Not only did Henry say "no" to the squash, but he broke out in a dramatic cry at the idea of it being on his tray (I know, I know - he gets that from me).
I tried putting the squash on a fork - nothing. I tried letting him feed me so that he would then try it - nothing. I even tried putting his high chair in front of the TV to distract him (again, not a proud moment for me) - nothing, nothing, nothing! And tonight for the first time, I firmly followed Ellyn Satter's (a dietitian & child feeding authority) advice that parents decide the what, when, and where of feeding, and children decide the if and how much. I had given Henry squash and chickpeas, he declined, and so he went to bed without dinner. Granted he may have eaten snacks with his nanny before I got home, and he did get his milk, but tonight there was no food. And you know what? He didn't care at all. We'll see how tonight goes (he seems to be sleeping soundly), but it seems that Henry is totally unscathed, and I'm just a bit of a wreck.
For those of you who would like to try a really good recipe that Henry wouldn't even touch, here it is:
Moroccan Butternut Squash & Chickpeas
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400. On a baking sheet, mix together all ingredients. Roast in oven for about 25 minutes. Serve with whole wheat couscous.
Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!