dream dinner

the boys have epitomized picky toddler eating habits for the past year and two months. in fact, ever since they turned one, they went from eating everything at dim sum, to a diet of mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, waffles, veggie sausage, crackers, couscous, all things fruit, the occasional gnocchi binge, a chicken nugget or two, and yogurt, yogurt and more yogurt. it hasn’t been unusual for them to completely refuse a meal. and it’s downright boring to make meals for them. we’ve used the approach of serving them whatever it is we are eating, and always having fruit and starch available should they (always) refuse what’s on the plate. we never make a big deal of their eating habits. it is what it is (note our philosophy here).

tonight was a breakthrough! first off, the boys entertained themselves for nearly AN HOUR while i fixed dinner. there was only one time i had to stop what i was doing and mediate a stolen squirt bottle. the boys played with their baseball game, they tickled elmo, they chased romeo, and then they literally cleaned the windows with a vinegar/water mixture in a squirt bottle and towel for at least 30 minutes. it was glorious!

i was ambitious and hand-breaded and fried up some fresh rock fish. i made some penne with parmesan and olive oil. and sliced up some mini-cucumbers. simple, moderately healthy, and in my humble opinion, totally yummy. how could a toddler not like this stuff? abel waltzed into the kitchen and asked what i was making.

“fish?!”
“would you like to try some?”
“abel try fish!”

i handed him a bite-sized piece and he looked at it, then me, than asked, “eat?” yes, eat. and eat he did. and his brother caught on and wanted in on the fish. so i put the plate full of fish, the bowl full of pasta and the plate of cucumbers on the table, put two regular glass plates in front of the boys, and let them help themselves. they filled their plates with everything. they even accepted my offer of a side of ranch to dip their fish in (unheard of!). and they ate. every. last. bite.

it was the best meal we’ve ever had together, or at least that didn’t contain mac and cheese and tortilla chips as the primary sustenance. i’m praying it’s not a one-hit wonder, because honestly it was so fun and satisfying. dream dinner, indeed.

the boys demonstrate their usual meal-time insanity:


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