Tonight I made spaghetti carbonara for dinner. Spaghetti carbonara is, quite possibly, the most delicious non-dessert food in the universe. It's the main course of my last meal menu and my standby when I used to visit my parents in Italy. (They don't live there anymore. TRAVESTY.) I haven't been eating things like pasta (and bread and potatoes and rice and every other delicious thing in order to drop ten pounds by my thirtieth birthday- SIGH) but the low-glycemic pasta was on sale and I had bacon hanging out in the fridge and what can I say? I wanted to live dangerously! Or at least high-in-fat-ly. I thought it was fantastic, too. My best go at this recipe EVER.
My two-year-old, however, was not impressed. He slowly lifted his fork to his mouth, tasted his noodles and promptly let them fall off his tongue and back into his bowl. He then looked at me as if to say, "Nice try. Where is the cake?"
While he nibbled on miniscule pieces of cantaloupe, my husband and I conferenced.
"I want him to eat with us and eat what we eat," I informed him.
"We could try bribing him," my husband suggested.
"I mean, it's practically macaroni and cheese," I complained, "a universally-approved toddler food."
"We could try giving him a peanut butter sandwich," my husband suggested.
"Or we could just eat our dinners and teach him that this is what we're having for dinner, like it or leave it."
"Or we could spend half an hour cajoling him into eating one measly noodle," my husband said. Wait, he didn't say that, he DID that, while I sat there silently, glaring at them both.
Eventually Jack ate two bites of pasta and then we gave him cookies because we'd said, "If you eat this bite of pasta you can have a cookie!" about ninety-seven gajillion times.
As far as I can tell, there is only one thing the entire internet agrees on and that is the impossibility of forcing a toddler to eat. Trying to get a toddler to eat something he doesn't want to eat is about as productive and gratifying as carrying on a conversation with a rock. I have made a very concerted effort not to let Jack's extreme pickiness and total lack of interest in food bother me. As the number of acceptable foods has dwindled it's become harder and harder not to explode into thrice-daily freakouts, but I manage. He has the energy to yell and throw rocks and run away from me -- he must be getting it somewhere, right?
Today my dinnertime nonchalance was vindicated by the pediatrician. Not only is my kid getting enough to eat, he's no longer falling off the weight chart. Child Protective Services isn't coming for me after all! I still wonder, though, how long a toddler can survive on milk and cheese alone. Not more than a few days without acquiring some digestive issues! Ahem. So what does your toddler subsist on?