When my parents were here in December, I made Chicken Divan* (recipe courtesy of my sister-in-law). For a few weeks afterward Sam mentioned it, that he wanted to eat it.
So last week, after having no motivation to think of things to eat, let alone go to the store and then cook them, I sat down with my blank menu planner and cookbooks and asked God to help me focus and plan menus. And He enabled me to plan out three weeks' worth of ideas. Then I headed to the store for this week's food.
One of my ideas for this week was chicken divan. I thought, Sam will remember and while may not exactly be "so excited," he'll eat it.
I was met with a loud "I DON'T WANT THAT!"
want: –verb (used with object)
1. to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one's dinner; always wanting something new.
2. to wish, need, crave, demand, or desire (often fol. by an infinitive): I want to see you. She wants to be notified.
So I launched into a rambling and slightly exasperated monologue about want as opposed to like when it comes to food (similar to the want v. need talk). I didn't ask what he wanted, this is what's served.
He ended up eating all his chicken with little other complaining. He didn't like the broccoli, though.
And Kate. She has started pushing her plate away when I put it down and saying "yuck," which has caused me to add an admonishment for politeness to my repertoire of stock speeches. And then, when she finally got a taste . . . she cleared her plate.
Sam has been eating more lately and I've been trying to put more on his plate because once he eats he typically doesn't ask for more. Oh, but then I worry about putting too much on his plate will overwhelm him and he won't eat at all. We try, with both of them, to have them "think about your belly. Are you full?" rather than just clear the plate. We've been leaving his half-eaten food on the table and telling Sam that's what he'll get if he's hungry before bed (as opposed to clearing the table and giving him a bowl of cereal at 8 when he's stalling before bed).
*This recipe is more of a word-of-mouth thing; that's not a link to the recipe. Take your chicken and cook it. I use skinless, boneless chicken breasts (is there another kind?). I cook my broccoli, too, 3 min. in microwave or whatever you do when you cook broccoli. Mix 1 can of cream of chicken soup with 1/2 cup mayo (or, for a big pan, 2 cans c.o.c. with 1 c. mayo - is that the right ratio, Andrea?). Then put the chicken & broccoli in a dish and cover with the mayo/soup mixture. Top this with cheddar cheese and bread crumbs. My SIL toasts her bread crumbs but I don't (faster and no extra pan dirty. Those carry a lot of weight in my book.)
Bake for like 30 min. at 350. The other day my chicken and broccoli were both hot so they only needed about 15 min. for the cheese to melt. I have made this ahead and put it in the fridge to bake later; then it usually needs 30 -45 min. if you put it in cold (I might cover with foil for awhile and take that off for the last 15 min. to crisp the bread crumbs, or leave them off and toss on for the last few minutes. Depends on my mood). Serve, enjoy, etc. I usually have rice with this; I feel like it needs a neutral base.