Yes, I'm a mean mom. And no, I'm not sorry about it.

February 22, 2011

I've had a lot of conversations with friends and family about our dinner expectations for our kids.
And I've learned that I'm kind of a "mean mom"
compared to others.
But wanna know a secret that's not really a secret at all?
I'm proud to be a "mean" mom. ;)
I make my kids eat healthy food, I tell them "no" often, I demand respect from them, I discipline them, I make them brush their teeth, take naps, and wash their hands before meals
- gasp! The nerve!! ;)
I joke, but really, there are parents out there
that try so hard to be their kids' best friend,
that they forget to be their parent.
Guess what.
My kids have plenty of friends.
They need a mom.
So, part of being "mean" if you will is making them eat dinner.
And in case you all were wondering,
I do not part-time as a short order cook.
So my children are required to eat what I decide to cook for dinner
(yeah, the little one...he'll eat whatever is chewable with his 8 teeth ;) )
or they will be hungry.
Now, in case some of you are ready to call SRS
I'll have you know I'm pretty "nice" at breakfast and lunch time...
For breakfast they usually eat {healthy} cold cereal & bananas
and for lunch {natural} peanut butter sandwiches {on whole wheat bread},
{unsweetened} applesauce and {whole grain} goldfish.
Sneaky, huh?
Breakfast and lunch are scarfed down before I can turn around.
Not so much.
But just because my child "doesn't like"/chokes down the dinner I make every night does that mean I should stop making him eat it?....
The answer is...
How else are they going to learn how to like "adult" food and flavors?
How else am I going to ensure that they are getting the nutritional benefits of foods OTHER than peanut butter & goldfish?
How else are my kids going to learn the importance of
manners, thankfulness, & an adventurous spirit in trying new things!?!
I mean you never know, if I didn't make my kids eat the dinners I prepare
they might be too afraid to travel the world some day!
Seriously people,
if I never got over my extremely-picky-childhood appetite and started trying new things,
I would have never had the joy of finding out I liked
avocados or hummus or the glorious Nutella,
or REAL New Mexican green chili
(thanks to my New Mexican lover... Don't worry that's my husband ;) ).

But I'm someone who believes BIG TIME in a little thing called
And that (after Jesus of course) is the key to life.
So my kids get to enjoy plenty of treats.
My mom stuffs something sugar-infused
down their throats every time I turn around.
Jaymin has a donut at church pretty much every Sunday.
We still have plenty of "goodies" left over from Valentine's Day
that Jaymin gets to pick from after finishing his DELICIOUS dinner. :)
So don't worry.
My kids aren't deprived.
I mean, they have to try sweet stuff too in order to have a well-rounded palette. :)

I'm not trying to preach.
Or judge your parenting style.
I'm just saying I'm mean.
And someday, my kids will thank me for it. :)

In the meantime,
I decided to be "nice" over the weekend
and make some homemade kid-friendly items.
My kids have been knocking out boxes of graham crackers like nobody's business
(I think daddy might be helping too...)
and Jaymin keeps talking about "chicken nuggets",
something I don't really buy cause I worry about the ingredients in pre-made nuggets.
So I decided to make homemade versions of those two things.

I used one of Martha's recipes for the graham crackers.
It seemed pretty healthy.
And they were pretty easy to make.
Just a little messy and time consuming.

The boys love them and have been eating them
faster than store bought crackers (if that's possible).
I used the Deceptively Delicious recipe for the nuggets.
I think this cookbook is a great concept
for getting your kids to eat healthy food
but I'd kind of rather them flat out KNOW what they're eating.
See, mean. :)
I DO think it offers great healthy & kid-friendly recipes for things you don't want to buy pre-made at the store though.
Like chicken nuggets. :)
My picture's not so great but they actually turned out pretty good.
My plan was to make a bunch and freeze them
they were kind of a lot of work.
So I may just go looking for a healthy version
at the grocery store.
They'll be a nice little "treat" for nights mama's not home to make dinner. ;)


Jami Nato said...

good job mama! layne has to eat 4 bites of whatever i make...then he can eat something else. i was a very picky eater growing up, so i know that you can't force someone to like something. trust me, still hate tuna fish. figured that out at 5.

Chelsea said...

Jami - me too! Tuna fish & oatmeal! My dad used to force me to eat oatmeal and to this day I still gag when I smell it cooking on the stove, yuck. I guess there CAN be scarring from this method - lol! :) Weird thing about Jay, he's HATED white potatoes since infancy. (What baby doesn't like mashed potatoes??) So I don't make him eat them, I mean there not that healthy anyway. :)

Mrs. Legris said...

Yeah! I am a mean mom too. Only a mean mom to 1 right now, but I like it and plan on keeping it! HA ;)

SaraBethJ said...

I so agree. I am a "mean" mom too and it sure has paid off. My boys will eat a wide variety of foods and I don't have to worry about what they won't eat when we go to someone else's house. Sure there are still things they don't like, but they are great eaters for the most part. They even begged me for sushi tonight after many times of trying it and complaining!

life chasers said...

I think all the 'mean' ones are the best. Not one kid with a 'mean' mom can grow up and honestly say that their momma wasn't crazy about them.
Well done :)

emily said...

i'm even more mean than jami...i make them eat the amount of bites (if they are 4, they eat 4 bites, etc.) and then if they don't want to eat anymore of the meal, they are done. can't eat anything else.

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