So, because it's been so crazy around here I've been relying a great deal on convenience foods. My daughter won't eat the school lunch, and she's very picky which makes packing a decent lunch difficult. The one thing she does love is pasta - even asking for it for breakfast! As a result, I was sending spaghetti-o's in her lunch. She ate it and seemed happy. But, I kept feeling guilty about sending canned pasta for every day.
I'm sure there are many more unhealthy things, but I don't like spaghetti-o's. In fact, I dislike them so much that I refuse to eat them. My Mom is Italian and would never have dreamed of serving something like that to us. So I decided to make my own. I got some alphabet pasta, organic pasta sauce and meatballs and made up a big ol' batch of 'letter pasta'.
The morning came that I packed it in her lunch and even topped it with a little parmesan cheese. I was nervous that she would come home and complain because she is one to not like change. Plus, she's five, and her little five year old palate is just not that worldly despite my best efforts to expand it. And she's stubborn as hell and usually refuses to try anything that doesn't look like something she already knows she likes.
BUT, she got off the bus and told me that she loved the pasta in her lunch that day and asked if she could have it again!! Yay! I was so excited! I mean, I know that the pasty pasta sauce in those cans is weird and not really pasta sauce in my opinion, but kids like it for some reason. It's a good thing, too, because I made about 3 weeks worth of lunch portions to freeze for later.
This reminded me of the time that she refused to eat some store bought pesto sauce because it tasted weird - turns out my homemade (and homegrown) sauce is way tastier and lacking in the citric acid preservatives. (I'm not a great cook, but I do make some killer pesto sauce!)
Anyway, parenting is hard, and we are always trying to do the right thing for our kids. But sometimes, just making it through the day successfully without incident becomes the main focus. As a result, it's the small victories that make us feel good and remind us that we don't completely suck as parents. Even if that victory is as small as my kid liking the food that I made for her. Hey, I'll take what I can get!