Thursday, March 8, 2012

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Photo from here

This morning I made Baked Oatmeal.

No, no. Let me back up.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 (that's a.m., in case you're not from around here) so that I could go to a spinning class (I know, I hate it when people tell me about their workouts too, but in this instance I felt I should tell you WHY I had to get up so stinkin' early), and get home in time to make lunch for my husband, and Baked Oatmeal for my children for breakfast. 

The Baked Oatmeal takes 45 minutes to bake, so I knew I had to get a real move-on if I was going to get everything done. 


The moment I return home, I fly around my kitchen like a rabid tornado, making a huge mess, and oil pulling (I'm an enthusiastic supporter of multi-tasking). 

Then my husband comes in and says, "You know I don't need a lunch today, right?" 

You've got to be kidding me #1.

So I abandon the chopping of vegetables for lunch, and start working on the Baked Oatmeal. Ten minutes in, I decide to bag it. Then I remember it's my turn to blog today, and decide to go for it. Again. 

When my children emerge from their rooms with sleepy eyes, I push plates of bananas into their hands and motion for them to chop like there's no tomorrow.

Oatmeal in oven, I tear my clothes off as I race down the hall and jump in the shower. I shout reminders and commands to children who can't hear me. Cause it makes me feel better.

With five minutes to spare before their ride gets here, I shovel three bowls full of piping-hot Baked Oatmeal, and tell the girls to eat fast

It's hot like molten lava. And they wrinkle their noses and ask if those are grapes on top.

You've got to be kidding me #2.

I pour milk over it. They make faces as they pick out the pecans and take tiny, hesitant bites (of the pecans - nothing else).

You've got to be kidding me #3.

I tell them to flippin' eat it for the love of Pete. And mutter about how they can just make their own goll-dang food from now on, as I walk into my bedroom for a few cleansing breaths, cause I'm about to lose it. 

They ask if they can be done, and their bowls are still full.

You've got to be kidding me #4. Four is all I can take.

I tell them I don't care. It's them who will be hungry until lunch, not me.

And then, after kissing them goodbye with my wet hair and growling stomach, I taste the stuff, and it. is. so. good.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me.

Which (finally) brings me to today's point:

People often ask me how I get my children to eat nutritious meals. I will tell you that it is not easy. In fact, it might be the most challenging part of our foodstyle change. At least once a day, I say, "I give up!" and I mean it. Until the next meal. We have a little saying at our house that goes, "You don't have to like it, you just have to eat it." Which means, they have to try it. Then, if they still don't like it, they have to take a couple bites of it. Then, if they are gagging, they can get themselves something else to eat, or wait for the next meal. I spend so much time and energy preparing food, that I just don't have enough left to care whether or not anyone likes it. And while that sounds harsh, it is finally paying off. Yesterday I noticed that Sylas (my hardest sell and most addicted to sugar) only asked for healthy snacks, and later he decided he really liked dinner (after I made him eat a few bites of it). He finished it, and asked if he could have it the next day for lunch. And then he thanked me emphatically for cooking for him. It just about brought a tear to my eye.

So I am going to focus on last night's success, and not on this morning's failures.

What is your strategy for getting your children to eat healthier?


  1. ok, this is my favorite post. You have really struck a chord with probably everyone. Imagery; hilarious, and I am dying to get other ideas for getting our kids to eat better. But I think it's just perserverance and time. And you are a maniac. I need to develop some tougher skin. I always excuse myself from working out. It's been a while since I went all hardcore on my mornings.. you've inspired me.. to start thinking about it

  2. Just thank your lucky stars you are starting this healthy eating business before your kids reach the teen years... and that they are not boys (the elsdest). My boys think that vegetables, grains, etc. are not MAN food. The only MAN food there is, according to them, is beef, pork, chicken meat in large proportions, white bread (also in large proportions), and brownies. It's a real and deep thing for the teenage boys. It's as if I've taken away the most important and happy part of their lives. I'm not sure how to proceed and not feel like I'm hurting them (which I'm not but they beg to differ). I offered a pot roast or other beef dish once every two weeks but that wasn't even good enough. Kendal says not to worry about it-- I cook--they eat. Easy for the guy who is gone during the cooking hours (and the witching hours) to say. I give up too...until next meal.