Small Victories at the Dinner Table

One of my ongoing concerns with The Boy is his diet.  He would eat pizza 24/7 if he could, and never seems to tire of it.  He doesn’t eat anything green, drinks very little milk, and on top of it all, eats like a bird.  The homemade lunchables work fairly well (when I have the gumption to put one together, and not just send in a hotpocket with some applesauce – argh!), although we have been stuck with bagel pizzas.  But we have thrown a few newer things in with the pizzas like whole wheat bagels, ham pieces, and carrots.  I’ve also managed to get him to eat some summer sausage, cheese, and whole wheat crackers in his lunch, as well.  Baby steps.

Dinner is a different story.  I often try to get him to at least taste what I am eating, and I can usually get him to do that.  He will eat pork chops if I make them, and certain (okay maybe 1 or 2) chicken recipes, but NO vegetables, and only sometimes potatoes.  Last night, I intended to make a chicken crock pot meal, based on a new pinterest recipe I had found until I realized on the way home from the grocery store that my chicken was still in the freezer, and we wouldn’t eat until midnight if I tried it.  I made the mental switch to a different pinterest recipe which looked super simple, using hummus.  The trick was, I had already told The Boy about the first recipe, asked if he would eat it because it had cream cheese (anything with cheese is OK in his book), and he had said YES.  I didn’t tell him about the change of plans.  I simply served up the chicken, with a side of zucchini and summer squash, and…  He ate all the chicken!! (It was really good!) Then I told him he could have some cheezits if he ate one of the “green things”.  He ate it, realized it didn’t taste like much of anything, and when I asked if he knew what it was, said that he didn’t.  When I told him, he said, “I just ate a zucchini?!”

Yes, little man, you did.  And hummus, too.

Score one for me!

This is all that was left of the hummus-crusted chicken with zucchini and squash

This is all that was left of the hummus-crusted chicken with zucchini and squash

Avocado Angst

Avocado sandwich

Avocado sandwich (Photo credit: Niklas)

I have mentioned before how I am having trouble with my avocados in my lunch.  I am still loving my avocado-hummus-cucumber sandwich, but it is really kind of ridiculous what a mess I am making each morning with the darn avocado.

I tried mashing them, and that seemed to work, but then my friend brought in lunch for us for the next few days, and the avocado mash, well, started to look like something meant for the bathroom rather than the kitchen (did I go to far, there? Um…  Sorry).

I have tried leaving the pit in for some stability.  I have used a regular sharp knife, and I have used an avocado knife, all to no avail.  I am still on the hunt for a solution.  Reader Holly, suggested slicing it, and leaving the skin on until placing it in the sandwich.  I am going to try that next.

Any other suggestions?

Lunch and the Picky Eater: Update

Two Ritz Crackers

Two Ritz Crackers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are heading into the 5th week of school, and we have been fairly successful replacing the lunchables in The Boy’s lunch.  We have tried various types of bread products for the pizza “crust” — whole grain English muffins (healthy by not so tasty), regular plain bagel halves (tasty but not so healthy), and finally whole wheat deli thins (healthy and tasty).  The only downside so far, is that he has pizza pretty much every day.  I have tried to throw in some turkey, cheese, and crackers, and even went so far as to cut the turkey into pacman shapes with cookie cutters.  This usually ends up being a 2-day lunch — he doesn’t eat it all (or any of it), so I send it in the next day for a re-do.  We tried various types of crackers for this lunch, as well, finally settling on whole wheat Ritz, which The Boy will even eat plain.

I was worried about his not eating all (or any) of his lunch when we started this, because there were days when his lunchbag would come home looking untouched.  Lo and behold, at Back to School night, his teacher explained that this happens because he is too busy talking and socializing with his buddies… What??… Fantastic!!

Next, I will try to get some different toppings in that pizza lunch (ham?), and I’m going to attempt nacho chips and cheese sauce (homemade), with some crumbled bacon for some extra protein.  We’ll try that in the test-kitchen (at home) first.

What goes into your little ones’ lunches?

Back to Bento: Avocado & Hummus Sandwich


I have been using my bento for lunch just about every day.  My go to sandwich so far (and I must tell you, I’m not a big sandwich fan) has been my ACH Sandwich: Avocado, Cucumber, & Hummus.  I based it on this recipe from Real Simple — I was actually going to make the white bean spread, until I had to use half of my can of beans for something else, and didn’t think I’d have enough to make the recipe.  Then I spied the hummus in the fridge, and substituted it, and a star was born.

I usually put it on some French or Italian bread (I know I should go whole wheat, but I’m Italian!).  It has real staying power, meaning I am not hungry until dinner.  According to Wikipedia a trusted internet source, the hummus acts as a complete protein because it is on bread, and the hummus and the avocado are both good sources of monounsaturated fat (the good kind of fat), and fiber (all kidding aside, I also checked Livestrong and some other sites, so there are very real benefits to eating these superfoods).  The cucumber just adds crunch to what would otherwise be a pretty mushy sandwich (cucumbers go in the middle to avoid making the bread soggy, by the way).

The hardest part?  Slicing the avocado.  It’s a pain — if anyone has a solution to that, please, PLEASE let me know in the comments.  My experience has not been pretty…

Lunch and the Picky Eater


lunch-2007-04-03a (Photo credit: flakyredhead)

Hi, my name is Annie and I’ve been phoning it in.  I’ve been giving my kid lunchables and poptarts for far too long with the excuse that he is a picky eater and that is all he’ll eat.  I’ve decided that I’m not going to do that this year.  I’m tired of the guilt, the lack of nutrition in my son’s diet, and the money spent.  We’re going to switch it up.

I’ve talked about going “back to bento” for myself, and I am excited.  I’ve also talked to The Boy about making our own “lunchables”, where we can choose what lunchmeats/crackers/pizza toppings go in the lunch, rather than taking what good ol’ Kraft decides to give us.  Realistically, he would eat pizza everyday for every meal if I let him, and I can give him less processed and pre-packaged options for pizza easily.  His other choices are based on the candy or treat that comes with the lunchable, so I’m sure he wouldn’t say no to a homemade cookie or two instead.

This means that I will be menu planning every week, for dinners and lunches.  If you’d like me to share my weekly menu plan, let me know in the comments.

Here are a couple of final thoughts:

  • I’m not above using a gimmick to get my kid to eat.  I will be ordering the Funbites Cube It! because I think it will be fun, and I might use it, even if he doesn’t.
  • Occupational Therapists will tell you to introduce new foods very gradually to the picky eater, and I will be employing this method, starting with… pizza! – can you imagine all of the possibilities of introducing new foods via pizza?
  • A few posts got me started on this idea: this one from, and this one from  I like the idea of listing all of the things he will eat, and starting from there, because I have a feeling it’s a longer list than I give him credit for.

Wish me luck!