It’s been a real struggle to get Nadya to eat something, anything at breakfast time. (Well, truthfully it’s a struggle at any time.) It is very difficult to get her to eat. Even the tastiest, most creatively healthy foods end up either entirely ignored, or tossed on the carpet. I mom guilt myself, and wonder, “Is this my fault somehow? How do I get this kid to eat?!” but then remind myself of a certain Louis C.K. skit, and know that it is not just me!
But, what is the answer? What do we do? So far, I don’t know. She is slowly beginning to warm up to foods on her own, but there are still more days than I’d like to admit where she lives on pretzels, craisins, plain rice, and boobies. I want her to eat healthy, and try to tempt her with yummy avocados, banana and yogurt smoothies, veggie stir fry, anything I can think of, but she stubbornly refuses to do anything but turn up her nose at it. So frustrating!
Finally, lately, I’ve gotten her into the habit of eating cereal in the morning. Great, right? There are a ton of healthy cereal options out there that are tasty, too. I had her eating Mini Wheats, and was trying to edge her towards Cheerios, when the inevitable happened…DJ dragged home an enormous box of Lucky Charms. NOOOOOO! It’s not that I have some vendetta against the cereal, but I had a sneaking suspicion that she wasn’t going to be eating the “cereal” part of it.
Of course, my suspicion was quickly confirmed, and after that, all she wanted for breakfast was Lucky Charms (and all she wanted from Lucky Charms were the marshmallows.). (Anyone who would say, “Just feed her something else!” hasn’t experienced the horror of trying to feed a finicky toddler something other than the single thing she is demanding. It’s a ton of fun, if you’re the kind of person who deeply enjoys small repetitive tasks like, say, picking 200 bits of wet cereal out of the carpet three times by lunch.) But, annoyed as I was that she was demanding this sugary cereal, I did notice that she was far more willing to eat it, and would seem excited to run to the table for breakfast, which was definitely out of character for her. So, the second task: How do I use this to get her to eat breakfast (but healthier breakfast, a.k.a. not a cereal she can sit and pick the marshmallows out of)?
My answer? ”Grape Candy” cereal, or, as you may know it…..Raisin Bran. Ha!
Who knew bran could be so exciting?
First, I made it desirable to her by pretending that it was only for mommy and daddy, and she couldn’t have any. After a few minutes of getting her worked up, she was climbing on our laps, demanding to try it. Then, I told her that it was “special grape candy cereal,” and that it was just for daddy, but “because you’re being so nice this morning, we’ll let you have some.”
Worked like a charm! ;)
Now, when DJ is out of the house in the morning, we sneak into the kitchen to “steal the grape candy cereal,” and gloat over having gotten a bowl of daddy’s cereal. We make a huge production out of it, and it is very fun, especially when compared to our previous “I hate breakfast, except when it is soaking into the living room carpet,” scenario. I’m hoping that soon I’ll be able to move her on to trying other breakfast foods. (Oatmeal with fruit? Dare I dream?) For now, I’m content that she isn’t eating marshmallows and pretzels for breakfast.
Liz, a.k.a. Mama, a.k.a. Stewart of the Magical Grape Candy Cereal