When I previously worked as a scientist,
I built computer models that calculated how cells can biochemically process different nutrients towards optimal growth and health outcomes.
If only feeding the kids were as easy as changing up a few parameters through the keyboard.
Every day, I am grateful for the opportunity to ensure my children’s growing bodies are properly nourished so they can develop into healthy human beings. But really, that’s just what I tell myself to keep my sanity when the inevitable meal time struggles come up.
With a mind of her own, my youngest one quickly identifies ways to haggle for what she wants, or downright refuses to touch her food.
“No, I don’t want it.”
“I hate that.”
“If I eat half, can I still get half of my dessert?”
Of course, I love the fact that she wants to assert her opinion and can openly express her needs and wants. But how do you rationalize with a child who is hellbent on avoiding everything that is nourishing and good for her?
Even with the best of intentions, that’s when my confidence falters as a parent and I begin to question myself: why am I falling short as a mother to this child??
But it’s during those times when I stop to remember how much I struggled with my son, who’s a few years older.
It seemed like a lifetime ago, but at one point, all he was willing to eat was bread and cheese. Slowly, but surely, he came around. Now, when he asks for pizza, he’s willing to balance it out with some blueberries. And I tell myself, at least he’s getting some lutein and vitamin C from that tomato sauce.
Ok, so it’s not perfect, but when is it ever? And despite whatever I think I’m doing wrong, my kids are still growing.
And they are still alive.
My son now eats pretty much anything I put in front of him, even when he gives me the stink face or pouty lip. Heck, last week he even asked me for a large bowl of blackberries for his snack.
My daughter will get there too, I just have to trust in her…and myself.