Dinner as Art

So far, we are lucky to have a good eater. And we’re lucky to have a child that prefers to feed himself. Dinner is still an interesting time in our household. We like to feed him a variety of healthy things from day to day, so after work we’re scrambling a bit to get his plate of food filled up (he doesn’t get the actual plate which would be thrown, just everything on it). He gets whatever we’re eating in child-friendly pieces, but while we’re fine with just a protein and veggie, we try to give him more than that. Usually it’s a WIN situation, but sometimes certain foods are hit or miss, and sometimes the whole dinner is hit or miss. That can be frustrating and I admit it’s a challenge for me to take it in stride, but I’m trying to get better and see it as normal toddler behavior.

So this past week, I decided to have a little “fun” and document his dinners Mon-Thurs. I realize this may be a strange idea of fun and clearly, I have too much time on my hands, but there you go. Evidence and other details appear below…

Monday: Half a grilled cheese sandwich, green beans, “bean balls”, a strawberry, and 4 ounces whole milk.

Dinner WIN, partial green bean FAIL. 2 ounces of milk drunk, oh well.

Tuesday: Half a cream cheese sandwich, pieces of grilled chicken, peas, orange slices, and 4 ounces whole milk.

Dinner WIN! Other food demanded, so we gave him some yogurt as well. Still only 2 ounces of milk drunk.

Wednesday: “Deconstructed chicken parmesan”–> Pieces of chicken, whole wheat pasta shells, pieces of mozzerella cheese hunk, blueberry yogurt with oatmeal cereal mixed in, 4 ounces of whole milk.

Dinner WIN! Plus, he drank all of his milk and another ounce on top of it!

Thursday: Teriyaki tofu, broccoli, cheddar cheese cubes, veggie booty, cantelope slice, and 4 ounces whole milk.

Dinner FAIL. This is when I wonder what happened? Did he not like it? Was he not hungry? He ate a decent portion of tofu, but hardly anything else and rejected the melon. MELON, people! (both in a slice like that and cut up into small chunks) Oh, and the veggie booty was a hit, even though he started crying while eating it (?!) We actually resorted to giving him half a container of yogurt and a slice of bread. And he only drank 2 ounces of milk.

Until he learns to talk, we won’t know what was up, but hey…I guess 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

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19 responses to “Dinner as Art

  1. Stuff is hit or miss over here too. Holland doesn’t eat as well as miles does though! It’s hard because I hate wasting. I need to do better with veggies. We’re waiting until may for milk and I hope he likes it!

  2. i see more wins than fails…thats great! you are doing an awesome job! miles is lucky to have moms who take such time and care to fix him such fun and balanced meals

  3. Thats great! Our boys still eat mush! and also do the crying thing even if they like it! P.S. What exactly is a “veggie booty”??

  4. I love the idea of the pictures! Fun. Looks like he’s doing great with eating and you’re doing an awesome job of offering him nice healthy meals. They get more picky as they get older – or mine did anyway. Erik used to eat pretty much anything, now, not so much. He’s just recently re-discovered that he likes bread toasted and jam, after an entire year or more of telling us every single morning that he wants “peanut butter, plain, not toasted, no jam!”

  5. You’re doing a great job! I think Miles eats more dinner than our almost four year old!

  6. ok, that is adorable. and yes, you have too much time on your hands. but thank goodness, bc adorable. (and I think those green beans were a WIN — he did eats lots of them.)

    two questions: what are those cute little bean balls? what’s the bread? 🙂

  7. emilyj- The “bean balls” are mushed up navy beans (easier to pick up since those beans are so small). We were having chicken with a corn and bean relish, so we took some beans out and made those.

    The bread is whole wheat Pepperidge Farm “deli flats” We LOVE them. They’re dense but thin, so very easy to spread stuff on and cut. And they’re always a hit with Miles.

  8. This is a great idea!!

  9. Les Make Babies

    Great job you guys! What an impressive assortment of healthy food! Overall, I think you guys scored a major win.

  10. This post is great!!! I love the idea. You could do this regularly and I’d love it. I noticed that the day he drank 5 oz of milk it was in a different cup. Related? Probably not but I thought I’d mention it.

    And on the melon reject, Cat doesn’t like melon either??? She’s not a picky either, just doesn’t like it. I eat her portion for her 🙂

  11. This is such a cute idea! Also can I have the password to the protected posts?

  12. How fun! You should do this again sometime… It’s helpful to see what older babies are eating!

  13. I love that you did this! I’m having such a hard time coming up with finger foods and needed ideas (we’re super paranoid about choking). I’m really impressed at how much he eats!

  14. What a great post! He really is a good eater. It must be so much fun to see him exploring new foods and developing his taste.

  15. We love reading your blog as “insight” as to what to expect or ideas for what to do – in this case FOOD! What a great post! The girls’ palates thank you!

  16. this is a great idea! it really appeals to the data hoarding side of me 🙂

  17. What a fun post, and a fascinating one! I love this idea.

  18. 3 out of 4 is great. he seems like an amazing eater!

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