I will never be a Pinterest mom. I will never be the kind of mother who spends hours (or even a singular hour) preparing beautiful meals for my child. And I don’t feel bad about it anymore. My kid eats the same thing for dinner on the regular.
I’m not hating on moms who have the ability or the interest in designing craft-based acts of love. I’ve just failed at enough re-creations to know it’s not for me.
On the ridiculously rare occasion I get on Pinterest, I see a shit ton of images of moms who make these flamboyant nutritious yet visually appealing meals for their children. You know, the ones that make cute little animals, like turkeys, out of their carrots sticks and sandwiches? Yeah, my son will never get that from his mother.
And now for the kicker: My son does not get much variety in his meals at all. In fact, he eats the same thing pretty much every day.
Now, before you label me as a self-centered, lazy mom (which I am by the way), hear me out.
The biggest reason I don’t waste my time making my son a wide variety of meals is because he is two and a half. We all know this stage is the stuff horror films are made of. And two and a half means different types of terror for different children. In our case, it means he is a picky eater and prefers to strategically abandon his meals and scavenge for sweets. We bow to our knees and thank the gods if he eats half the meal set in front of him. If he eats most of it, I go out back and do a victory dance.
Bottom line: I refuse to spend 3 hours researching complicated food art and another hour on execution to make meals that he’s going to throw on the floor to be eaten by the dog.
The second reason I don’t spend time making my son a different food every day is because culinary skills aren’t a gift of mine.
As the old saying goes, motherhood changes you. But what it doesn’t do is give you the ability to follow a detailed list of directions if details aren’t your thing. It also doesn’t replace the annoyance that comes along with post-creativity clean up.
In the beginning, I tried to be a “make blended fresh foods and use homemade cloth diapers” kind of mother. The result was disastrous misery, and I’m not going down that path again. I am not the “let me show you love and kindness with a home cooked meal” type of woman. Frankly, it would be an insult to his taste buds and my free time for me to pretend to have that skill set.
We do not give our son different meals every day because the three meals we stick to are age-appropriate and give him a good enough balance of nutrition.
I know. It’s totally in the realm of possibility for me to create meals that give him more nutritional value. We can all improve upon previous methods of execution, regardless of what we are discussing. But I’m not a fan of reinventing the wheel.
His meals include a protein, a grain, a vegetable here and there, and a ton of fruit. His snacks give him calcium and I bet he drinks a lot more water than the other two-year-olds you know.
Our doctor, his vitals, and his disposition all reassure us that our son is not at any risk for starvation. He’s literally built like a lead ball. Long story short, we’re good over here, and there’s no reason to switch it up when it’s working fine.
Sure, I wish that my son would eat a broader range of foods so it would be easier to get him to eat them when he is older. But as a mom of one (with another on the way), I have enough things to worry about. A wide array of meals just isn’t on my priority list right now.
Of course, as the years pass, we may have to go back to the drawing board. The foods he eats now won’t sustain him when he’s a teen. But until then, our household will be sticking to the concept that eating a limited amount of meals with a moderate amount of nutritional benefits is much healthier than not eating it all.