So I’m pursuing super mom status: I work full-time, I cook, um, sometimes. And I have this little boy who Will. Not. Sit. Down. And. Eat. A. Meal. Somehow, my going back to work has caused family meals to become a big bust. Or it has nothing to do with me and our kid is just being his fine, defiant, constantly-moving, 3 ½ year-old self.
We still attempt to sit down to meals together, but Leo, hungry before and after every meal, is never quite on board during meals. He makes a big deal about it too, presumably because he senses the particular power he has over a tired adult who just put effort into making a family-friendly meal when he simply decides to opt out.
Well, we keep trying. And at the same time, we’re slipping. Aaron grabbed a box of fish sticks at the store last weekend “for the babysitter.” And I just spent all evening concocting a high-protein, honey-sweetened waffle recipe so we can freeze them in bulk, toast them and send our meal-refuser out the door with something that counts for breakfast. Tasty and a bit sweet, with plenty of protein from eggs, soy butter, milk, yogurt, and whole grains, they’re a meal in portable form. Which, if not a victory for family togetherness, is at least a nutritious food that we can all eat on the go. Just stop me before I develop a hand-held dinner that you can eat in the bathtub.
Zoe Singer is a freelance food writer and cookbook editor and co-author of The Flexitarian Table. Food Editor and blogger for The Faster Times, she tries not to eat for two now that her son is a toddler.