Saturday, March 24, 2012

The blight of cooking

It happens every day, 3 times a day. I am called upon by little growling stomachs to prepare a small masterpiece that is balanced and healthy to feed the growing minds and bodies in my house.

Lately, I've been burned out on cooking. To the point that that small part of me no longer feels guilty if they just ate chicken nuggets 24/7. Yet, I can't do that.

After watching 'Food Inc' again with my friend who had never seen it, I started thinking about what I was really feeding my family again. Beyond just something to survive on.  So, I made the trip back to a local shop to buy locally grown meats. I was excited while shaping the ground beef into hamburgers. Just the way it smelled, it smelled real, fresh. Even though it had been stored in a deep freezer at the store and thawed overnight, it smelled fresh and just healthier than anything else I've thawed and used. I enjoy the smell of grass fed beef. Weird I know. I diced the onions and sprinkled seasonings upon it. Chopped potatoes and carrots, wrapped everything in aluminum foil and set it in the hot grill.
I felt good about hamburgers as lunch. Until my son had a melt down and refused to eat it.

The arguments on getting him to eat are so extremely frustrating. The fact that I have to convince him to take a bite of a hamburger when he wants to eat the broccoli makes it worse. I have no trouble getting him to eat most vegetables. Other moms stare in disbelief when my son reaches for carrots instead of cookies. My son, who won't eat macaroni and cheese, yet devours spinach patties. 
I get very angry at my self when I lose my temper at him when he refuses to eat. Especially when it is something that I have gone out of my way to make sure it really is healthy for him to eat. I get frustrated with my daughter as well, but she is only 1 and there is no reasoning with a 1 year old about how something is good for them. They don't want it, it's on the floor.

Most of where the frustration of getting my son to eat comes from, is the fact that if it's not how he's used to seeing it, he won't eat it. If we are someone elses house for dinner or lunch, he won't eat. He'll ask for snacks, but turns up his nose and wails "I Don't Want to Eat!". Making me feel embarrassed as though their food isn't good (sometimes it isn't, but sometimes it's just like mine.) So the real fight here is just getting him to eat something somewhere else or just trying things. We've had the rule of 5 bites of something different. But lately, he's figured out that if he gets himself upset enough, he can make himself vomit. Our daughter also contains this special ability, which makes crying it out not an option for either of them in sleep training.

So, with this as the daily thankless job, I am at a new loss as to what to make. I enjoy new recipes and trying new foods. But when screams of protest follow an excursion of cooking, it makes me want to scream. How far should I bend in? I know long term it is worth the fight as I have friends who refuse to eat vegetables even as adults. But when every meal is either on the floor or sobbed into until stone cold. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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