Before we had children, I used to dream of gathering around the dinner table, reconnecting and sharing bits of our day.
I envisioned smiles, funny stories, and happiness.
I could have never imagined what dinnertime would actually be like with small children.
From the moment I begin making dinner, the trouble begins.
A typical pre-dinner conversation goes something like this…
Katie: What are we having for dinner, Mommy?
Me: Chicken, bread, and green beans with applesauce for desert.
Katie: But that’s not my favorite! I’ll have pasta and applesauce.
Me: I’m sorry, Katie, but that’s not a healthy choice.
And it just goes downhill from there.
I can count on one hand the number of foods that aren’t met with resistance and attempts at negotiation and there is little that I dread more than dinnertime.
Each night, I’m faced with a choice–give her pasta or prepare myself for nagging, nudging, and frustration.
Six out of seven nights, I fight the good fight and stand firm. But on those nights when I give in, there’s peace.
So why do I fight? Because I realize that it’s my job to ensure that she eats not only healthy food, but also a wide range of different foods.
It’s also my job to explain why she needs that variety in a way that a four year old can understand. When asked to name a protein or a food with calcium, she can do it. When I ask her why we need those in our diet, she knows the answer.
And I’m holding onto hope that one day she’ll see the futility in her resistance.
She will, right?
Please tell me I’m right.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs November 14 to December 18, 2011. A random winner will be announced by December 20, 2011.