Dining with Small Children

Caden Eating


Search and Destroy were very excited about the evening’s culinary offering. (To clarify, we were having tortellini for dinner.)

While the “eat whatever you want with reckless abandon because it’s the holidays and things are just really tasty” season – general running from the turkey of Thanksgiving through the chocolate goodies of Valentine’s Day – has concluded for this year, the muppets are still going strong.

All those years ago now, as I flitted between the isolettes of two tiny babies, the nurses warned us that after surviving the trauma of that pesky early birth the next big hurdle to face was food.

We were warned this would be difficult. It would be tough going. They faced long odds.

There were a couple of concerns. Part of the graduation requirement involved tolerating milk and taking all of their meals orally – and technically they had to complete this timed test in less than 30 minutes.

Search never accomplished said feat. He’s always been more of a diner. Meanwhile Destroy was doing his best to use every ounce of his 4-pound person to wear down his nurses’ willpower and feed him sooner. He actually took longer to adapt to his bottle because he was SO excited about food that he kept forgetting to breathe during dinner (or lunch or breakfast).

But they thrived. They tripled their weight. And now, they may be approaching another growth spurt.

Last weekend we went to breakfast. Over the course of an hour, my 27-pound 2-year-old methodically devoured:

  • 4 pancakes
  • 3 cups of Kix
  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • 1 thick strip of bacon
  • 1 very large glass of milk

By lunchtime, he was ready to eat again. It was time for chicken tenders. Destroy inhaled his and began bouncing around, ready to use that newly ingested energy. Jon teased our young son by pretending to steal a remaining Mandarin orange from the plate teetering precariously on the edge of the table.

“It’s ok. I’m all done,” Destroy reassured Dad. Jon reached to clear his plate.

From the opposite end of the table I watched as Search glared at his father through a wicked side eye. His little hand surreptitiously rose over the table to cover his meal stealthily guarding his precious protein.

It took another hour.

He ate three full-sized chicken tenders.

Dinner was similar. Albeit notable for the distinct lack of pants present at the table. I can only assume the clothing optional decorum resulted from an ever-expanding tummy. (Destroy’s really is quote rotund.)

Yet Search steadfastly remains 5 pounds lighter. I am not sure where he is putting all of these calories. (This just further proves my theory that harnessing the energy of a single toddler would absolve the world of its dependence on oil for a year. Renewable energy! All you have to do is convince them to nap.)

But it was the culmination of dinner that confirmed Costco and I (and my paycheck) will be rather intimate in the near future.

After consuming

  • 3 ounces of grilled chicken strips
  • 2 large wheat tortillas
  • 1 glass of milk

I asked if he was finished. Dressing was involved in what was once a chicken wrap, so bathtime was imminent.

“I’m not ready for bath. I still eating my leaves,” Destroy replied politely.

Y’all – he ATE THE SALAD.



Filed under Food

4 Responses to Dining with Small Children

  1. Lost in the cube

    My daughter (who was 7 weeks early) is now 28 and still will not eat salad. I think you are working miracles with your two.

  2. Nancy Welker Caracciolo

    As a grown premie, I can tell you that appetite is NOT equivalent to size. I could always “eat with the big boys”. The difference with me though, is I do not have endless energy – I would welcome any energy at all. KUDOS to you on keeping up with them. That is an incredible amount of food every day x 2!

  3. Joanne Hamann

    Good God can they eat! I’d be worried about the teenage years too – and amazing about the salad – Mitch loves caesar and that’s about it – “leaves” are still not his favorite, even at 17.

  4. I am seriously impressed! My 7-year-old is still picky as all get out…I’m hoping to do WAY better with my 2-year-old, who seems to have my tastebuds. 🙂

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