At first, I was tempted to have Charlie help me prepare one of his tried-and-true AMFT favorites: gougeres (aka "cheesy poofs"), Dressy Pasta Risotto, or Almond Flounder Meuniere. None of these are especially healthy options, though, and even though it wasn't specified in our challenge, healthy eating is part of Jamie's whole mission (right?). So, I decided to choose a healthier option, despite the fact that Charlie is the most stubborn eater I've ever met in my life, and has only recently been willing to even nibble a vegetable. Any vegetable. He wouldn't even eat them as an infant. Frustrating.
I love soup. Especially Dorie's soups. They're a delicious, effortless way to eat loads of veg. I believe in soup's potential to get vegetables into my 4-year-old, and I believe that Charlie would like it, if he would taste it. I never imagined so much of my parenting energy would be spent trying to get this child to eat something--anything. I've tried the soup trick many times, and have never succeeded, but I still believe that he will eat them. Eventually.
Our dinner rule is that he doesn't have to eat it, but he does have to taste everything on his plate. If he won't taste it, he'll go to bed hungry. Charlie goes to bed hungry a lot, though we've been having a bit more success in the past two weeks. Chipping away at his resolve, I guess.
Charlie's been excited to help me cook lately. At his school, they started having the kids prepare lunch on Wednesdays. Now he wants to chop things all the time. Unfortunately, this has not translated into an excitement for trying what he's made. I hoped that if he helped me cook Dorie's Celery-Celery Soup, he'd taste it. Just one bite. It's a simple recipe, mostly involving peeling and chopping of vegetables. Perfect for a four-year-old.
I was thwarted before I even started. In the car on the way home from his preschool, I told him we were going to do a cooking project and make some soup when we got home. He pitched a tantrum the entire 20 minute drive home because we were making soup instead of pasta. Maybe we've lived in Italy too long. Charlie is adopting the Italian "must eat pasta at dinner" rule. My brain has yet to wrap itself around the argument that pasta has so many preparations that one could never tire of it, but Charlie agrees fully (as long as I contain my preparations to pomodoro, pesto, or carbonara.)
He refused to help cook. He's helped me make dinner every day this week, but the day I specifically asked him to? Not interested. Sorry, Jamie. Four year olds. What can I say?
My dog ate the loaf of homemade bread that I planned to serve with the soup (she's lucky she's cute), so I heated up some of Dorie's Swiss Chard Pancakes that were in the freezer. Charlie helped me make those, even if it was a month ago, so he did, technically, eat something he helped prepare. Does that count?
We had a bit of a dinner stand-off. He gobbled one of his two swiss chard pancakes. I held the second hostage until he tasted his soup. Fortunately, he loves those pancakes. There was a lot of grumbling, nose-wrinkling, and exclamations of how he didn't like the soup (prior to tasting it), but he did bring spoon to mouth.
|Look at him, bracing to be disgusted.|
|hmmm...if I admit that I like you, Mom wins.|
|If I make a sour face while eating, she won't catch on.|
I need to keep pureed soup in the rotation so he doesn't forget he likes it.