My son started orthodontic treatment last week. Boy we were all in for a shock. Not only was his mouth sore, but the poor guy is really having a tough time eating. Besides feeling like he’s going to choke on everything there’s the list of no’s from the doctor – nothing sticky, chewy, hard. He asked “what’s left?” Well, I’ll tell you – creamy, smooth and watery. At least at first it’s been soups, smoothies, and shakes. Even pasta was a chore. He’s getting better at eating. I’m getting better at packing a thermos for lunches, steaming and cutting things in small pieces and trying to keep him nourished and interested when sometimes it’s just too tiring and frustrating to eat. Here’s a new shake we’ve created which makes him smile…
Peanut butter and banana is always a classic combo. Whether it’s a sandwich (my childhood favorite), a muffin or this cool shake. Feel free to substitute any type of milk. The almond milk gave some added nutrients, vitamins and good (monounsaturated) fats here.
1/4 cup plain organic yogurt
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 frozen organic banana
1 heaping tablespoon organic creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon honey
Cut frozen banana in same size chunks. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth and combined.
I find myself sometime wrestling with my parental guidelines. You know those things you tell yourself you’ll never do with your kids. These seem to be set before you even have children (and don’t know what you’re in for). It could be something you don’t want to repeat your parents did with you (licking your finger and wiping child’s face) or something you see your friends doing (giving in to tantrums) or even a situation you witness at a park (ignoring crying child while on cell call). There’s always something we tell ourselves will never happen at our house and then it does. At that moment, three things could happen…1. You look around and wonder “did anyone else notice I did that?” 2. You tell yourself “O.K. just this once”. 3. You realize the parental guideline needs to be revisited or ammended on a case by case basis.
So here’s one of my guidelines… do not reward, discipline or comfort with food. Sounds good enough. We reward at our house with priviledges (child gets to pick an activity or outing, such as miniature golf) when things go well. We disclipline by taking away priviledges or discussing why we won’t be getting more freedoms, choices and priviledges. However I am finding times where the priviledge (choice, freedom) is tied to food. Child picks favorite restaurant when given the choice of where the family should eat. Child wants to go for ice cream as a “treat” for doing a good deed (helping in the yard, etc). Child (and mom) want to make hot chocolate together, after hiking in the rain. Here the experience and choice of priviledge is related to food and that’s o.k. with me.
Here’s last week’s example. I took my son to a great (everyone said) day camp at a place where kids build (using real tools) in a woodworking studio or create a craft (beading, jewelry etc). Trouble is, for my son it was not so great. After being there 1 1/2 hours I picked him up expecting smiles and got sadness. For him it was a bit overwhelming (too many kids and not enough structure). We decided to have lunch just the two of us, at a favorite lunch spot (La Boulange – that’s another story) before picking up my daughter so we could talk about the camp.
Feeling sorry for my son, I told him he could have whatever he wanted. I figured he’d have a sandwich and want a cookie or croissant after. However taking full advantage of my guilt he ordered the most decadent (and delicious) sandwich ever… banana and Nutella with cream on toasted brioche. Really, they make that? That’s what you’d like for lunch? There was no going back. It came with a side of fruit, which made me feel a bit better. But this was quite a sandwich, even if it had come on a bed of spinach – this was quite a sandwich (yes, he shared a bite with me). My son thoroughly enjoyed every messy bite and couldn’t wait to tell his sister and dad about “the sandwich” when he got the chance. He also confided in me about the camp (for him it was a bit overwhelming with too many kids and not enough structure/assistance).
By the time his dad got home my son was more relaxed and even left room for the possibility of trying the woodshop again. My guilt was lessened and the lunch experience was fun.
I guess I covered the pain in Nutella. Will it happen again? I’ll go with #3 above – it will be on a case by case basis (but the cases need to be spread out).