The best-laid schemes o' mice an men

Hunger Games II

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I had to re-read an old post today for a little comfort. The food wars have officially started again in our house (for maybe the 10th…20th time, who’s counting).

In an attempt to salvage a waning tradition of ‘Fish Friday’ I opted for takeaway fish and chips instead of a healthy chickpea, vegetable and pasta soup. She loved fish last time we bought it. Any effort to buy fresh fish and cook it at home has been met with defeat but I took my advice and persisted, maybe takeaway grilled snapper would work again. After scoffing down a bunch of chips the snapper barely made it past her lips before being pushed straight out. The mere taste of it on her lips being oh so offensive.

I attempted the cuddle on mums lap and feed technique, holding out a small piece of fish, by her reaction anyone would think I was asking her to eat a plate full of live sea slugs. SO many tears. Feeling deflated and like an awful person (what mother just feeds their child chips for dinner!) I embarked on cooking up the soup…even if it was already getting closer to bed time. I don’t usually do this, cook twice, but since I hadn’t technically cooked the fish and chips anyway it felt different. Besides, I figured, I should have known better and had something else on hand to begin with.

Halfway through cooking the soup I realised this was not going to happen in time. In the fridge was yesterdays lunch, dinner and today’s lunch…a boring ‘I don’t have the energy’ potato, pea, lentil and pasta thing. Into the microwave it went and Curly at least got to supplement her chips with something a bit healthier. I even had the chance to try some chickpeas from the soup on her, she greedily shoved them in her mouth and chewed. As I started to feel my spirits rise with some success she at once spat out the chewed chickpea…apparently chickpea skin doesn’t pass her culinary requirements.

I know many toddlers like simple tastes, plain foods. She spent the day with her Grandma today…I know that means a day full of processed crackers. But I have a stubborn streak that says ‘my child will eat her vegies’ (I can let the fish go). The plant-based chef in me is screaming to be let loose in the kitchen with all sorts of weird and wonderful lentil and vegetable dishes, but I know each time I run the risk of a disapproving toddler, and that’s so disheartening.

We’re going camping tomorrow, just overnight. I reined in my plant-based over-achiever and cooked up a lentil and pumpkin soup (an old faithful) to bring with us. Still healthy I know…but for some reason this still smells of defeat, with a whiff of onion and garlic. The chickpea soup will be frozen for another day…when I’m better able to cope with possible rejection.

You see, we’ve chosen to stand by our principles. When you choose a path for yourself and your family there’ll always be challenges. It’s the challenges that make us wonder if we’re doing the right thing, taking the right path. Many people quit when it gets hard, and then it always stays hard. So for now, I’m going to rely on the decisions I made in a more rational frame of mind. I’m going to trust that consistency and perseverance will pay off eventually. Our character is shaped in the easy times, tested in the difficult, it’s time now to see just how strong my beliefs about food are.

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