One of the joys (ok, by “joys” I mean “headaches”) of having Charlotte in full-day junior kindergarten is having to provide her with healthy, portable, litterless, nut-free, banana-free, labeled, lunches and snacks that she will actually eat. I found a recipe last week for Apple Raisin Bran Muffins, and I thought- perfect! She likes apples, she likes raisins, she likes bran (seriously, the kid can eat her weight in bran flakes), and she likes muffins! On Saturday afternoon, I assisted her in baking these muffins from scratch.
She was so excited to be baking. She put on her apron and dragged her stool into the kitchen so that she could reach everything. Together, we measured and counted and mixed up all the ingredients. She was practically vibrating with excitement as she added items to our bowl and stirred it up. I silently congratulated myself on this wonderful idea- she was counting and learning about measuring things and she was having fun! Plus, she was making a delicious and healthy snack for her lunch! And then, when everything had been mixed up, she examined the muffin batter, and declared, “This looks like meat!”
Oh, god, no. This is basically the worst criticism she could have doled out. It is HELL trying to get her to eat meat. She has been known to keep a bite of sausage or pork chop in her mouth for 45 minutes without swallowing. She once drove Mark to madness when she wouldn’t swallow her pork chop. I wasn’t home, so I don’t know exactly what went down, but she still talks about that time that “I didn’t want to swallow my pork chop and Daddy was so angry.” Needless to say, there has been no pork chop on her plate since that incident.
So anyway, her comparing the muffin mixture to meat did not bode well. Sure enough, when they came out of the oven, and I offered one to her, she refused. And since then, whenever she asks for a snack and I tell her she can have a muffin, her face falls, and she asks quietly, “Are those my choices?” If I say yes, it’s a muffin or no snack, she bows her head, hunches her shoulders, says, “No, thank you, Mommy,” and slinks away, Charlie Brown-style.
I packed one in her lunch yesterday, hoping that she would have worked up an appetite and would be hungry enough to eat it, and then discover that they are, in fact, quite tasty. No dice. I unpacked her lunch bag at the end of the day, and guess what was the only thing left untouched:
And so I decided to put it on her plate at dinner time. She happily ate up everything else, but when the muffin was all that was left, she looked up at me and said, in a small voice, “Mommy, I think I am getting full now.”
Uh-uh. No way was I falling for that. If I said, okay, no problem, and took her plate away, thirty seconds later she would be asking me for something more to eat. So I told she had to at least eat half the muffin before she could be done. And then OH. MY. GOD. It took her twenty minutes to eat half a damn muffin. I wanted to die, sitting there with her, as she took each tiny, agonizing bite. But she got it down, without any tears. From her or me.
So, unfortunately, the Apple Raisin Bran Muffin recipe experiment failed. I think next time I will try an oatmeal raisin muffin recipe. Or maybe a fruity muffin, like strawberry or raspberry. There are tons of possibilities. I will not be defeated by her irrational pickiness.