Back in January, I started a food therapy program for my kids. My sensory-challenged kids have a very limited diet and most of what they will eat is not my idea of wholesome, healthy food. I was hoping that, by following this program, I could get them to tolerate some healthier alternatives. Two weeks into the program I felt I was having some success. But I’m afraid it didn’t last.
My kids soon got over the idea of having dessert as a reward. They began to refuse to have dessert in order to avoid having to eat the stuff on their plate. They complained vociferously about how much they hated the chicken nuggets and despite some progress with the carrots they really couldn’t deal with them. They asked for an alternative but I couldn’t come up with anything and the truth is, I gave up.
It wasn’t just the fact that I was feeling discouraged, it was that implementing the plan was So. Much. WORK. Really, it was exhausting. I would not only have to make each one of them their regular dinner, and the desserts, but then also my own and Husband’s dinner, then I would have to make the therapy ingredients. I just couldn’t keep it up on a regular basis and the lack of regularity was working against me. To top it all off, I got a part time job as an academic editor and since Husband was recently laid off I couldn’t say no to any assignments. That left little time for all that cooking and cleanup.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I’ve had to completely let go of the food issue. My kids are now too old for me to really have much control over what they eat. Had I known what I do now perhaps I could have prevented things from getting to this point, but until somebody invents a time machine there is no point in wandering down that line of thinking any further. Yes, Miss Em could stand to lose a few pounds, but she has continued to shoot up in height and isn’t nearly as overweight as she was. Mr. Boo is still pretty overweight, IMO, but at his recent pediatrician’s checkup the doctor told me not to worry about it. He is at the same percentile for both height and weight (97th) and the doctor said he was happy as long as those two numbers are consistent with each other.
These days I find myself being thankful for convenience food while at the same time wondering how I ever got so far away from the goals I had when I first became a parent. Miss Em eats pretty much the same dish for dinner every night, instant mac and cheese (white cheddar flavour, and only one brand will do). On my busiest or most tired days it is nice to have something so simple to make and easy to clean (one pan). For Mr. Boo, throwing some gluten-free fish sticks in the oven makes for another easy dish with little cleanup. I hate that my kids eat like that – I don’t eat like that and neither does their father – but I feel like I have to choice but to accept the situation. I don’t feel good about it, but I also see no other realistic option. My only hope is that, like me, they will grow to like new foods as they get older. I started adding foods to my picky diet (which was nothing compared to my own kids’) when I was around 10 or 12 and perhaps my children will follow in those footsteps. Meanwhile I’m just grateful that they are as healthy as they are, knock on wood!