If you've ever read my blog before today, you're well aware of my Picky Eater. Now, I'm seeking your ideas.
Every dinner table discussion with Picky Eater is a fight about how many bites she has to take, or how she thinks she's a vegetarian, or how she's not a vegetarian, but an omnivore ("Omnivores eat vegetables, too, sweetie,"), or how such-and-such burns her mouth, or, "Remember, Momma? I don't like this."
I refuse to serve "kid foods" at my house. I despise the notion that children should be raised on Gerber Stages and then on to Kid Cuisine and Lunchables. I think that kids can and should be served proper, home-cooked meals and be expected to try them and to eat them -- most of the time.
On a rare occasion, I make something I know Picky Eater won't eat for sure, but the rest of us enjoy it, so I make it anyway. On those occasions, I'm sure to provide adequate side dishes so that there's plenty she'll tolerate.
I don't know how she got to be so picky with a mom who's always experimenting in the kitchen (and seldom makes something that's not delicious to everyone else!). What I do know is that I'm sick of fighting over food with her. It's been going on for four years now.
The Clean Plate Club doesn't hold its meetings at my house. I never require her to clean her plate. I don't reheat refused meals to serve at the next mealtime. I don't use foods as rewards or punishments. I do expect everyone to at least try what's put in front of them, and I demand respect at the table (no insulting the food or the cook), but I know that not everyone likes everything and that's okay.
What more can I do to ease the mealtime battles? Any advice? Here's a meal that she refused tonight. It was delicious. The sweet potatoes are the key ingredient in this dish. Definitely don't leave them out.
Black Bean Stuffed Bell Peppers
makes 6 peppers
What You Need:
- 2 cups (or 1 can) cooked black beans (drained of any liquid)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 of a bell pepper, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and diced
- 1/4 cup salsa
- salt & pepper to taste
- 6 bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
- Cook onion, diced pepper, and garlic in olive oil until soft. Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Stuff bell peppers until overflowing. Place in baking dish.
- Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour.