Saturday, February 26, 2011

Diary of a Working Mom {February Edition v.1}

I have a confession.  We are officially.....

in a chicken nugget RUT.

Bleh.  I know, I know.  But lately, M-F 6pm-9pm is not a fun time in my house.  When I pick up the kids after work, it's automatic whining and crying.  Hubby has been good about starting dinner before I get home.  But the kids are so tired and hungry, and I just want to take my work clothes off and get in some comfy clothes, so we start shoving snacks their way until I can collect myself.

Now, I am very thankful that the kids LOVE fruit.  So most days they are eating grapes, apples, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, yogurt drinks (ok-not that healthy)...and some days it might be cheetos and fruit snacks.  Whatever.  It's called survival.

The Moose will eat pretty much anything.  But the Princess is in her picky phase, and I am enabling her, because it is easier.  Plus, I'm just tired.  Mentally exhausted.

But it really bothers me because we (me, my bro & sis) did not grow up as picky eaters.  Mom was not a short-order cook.  We ate what was put on the table.  And I don't want M to be labeled as a picky eater who will only eat Fun Nuggets, and not any other kind of chicken.  Her teacher says she doesn't really eat the lunch.  But I really don't want to start making her a separate lunch.  (Mostly because of the mortgage payment I am paying the school to provide lunch)  She will eat it if she is really hungry.  Right??

So that brings me back to the nuggets.  They are just so dang easy.

And I understand the whole philosophy that if she does not eat what is on her plate, she will eat it when she is hungry.  We do that sometimes.  Sometimes we make her eat at least 4 bites (since she is 4 years old). 

But it is so hard fighting this battle, when I just want the 3 hours I have with them to be pleasant and not stressful.  This is why I have put off 'picky eater boot camp'.  And I am only with her for one meal a day.  So on weekends when we are out, I don't want to fight the battle in public either. 

I understand the key to having somewhat pleasant and stress-free night is to plan ahead.  A very simple thing.  But so hard for me to execute.  Have I mentioned that I am tired?  I have made some efforts in the past with menu planning, grocery shopping, etc...But if we get off routine for a couple of days, it's hard to get back on track.

We had a healthy eating lesson at our Moms Group the other night.  It was perfect timing.  I was mentioning the chicken nugget rut to a friend and she said, "yeah, that is why I don't buy them."  I probably looked at her like she was crazy--but I didn't mean to.  Honestly, it never occurred to me that I don't have to buy the nuggets.  I control what food comes in.  DUH!  Talk about a light bulb moment.  (yes, I am slow sometimes)

I went to the grocery last night and saw things in a different light.  I had researched some of our staples and felt good about the choices I made...the best juice, the best yogurt, etc...  I bought some extra frozen boneless chicken tenderloins that me and M can cut up and make our own nuggets together.  I chose whole grain and whole wheat options when I could.  Small steps.

So friends...tell me...What kid friendly (healthy) meals do you fix? How have you conquered your picky eater?  How do you plan your meals?  Weekly?  Monthly? 

I can't wait to hear your your tips and tricks!  My March mission is to get out of the rut!


  1. I'd give you ideas - if I had any! We're in a hot dog, spaghetti, taco rut. At least the hot dogs are nitrate free and maybe even organic (Applewood Farms brand). Hoping someone else will comment with some good recipes!

  2. Are all working moms in this same rut? I could have written every single word of your first paragraph. When I come home, I just want to unwind in my pajamas. The kids want to whine, fight and get on each other's nerves. We eat lots of frozen food around here. My kids do love fruit though so it has to balance out, right?