The girls generally get up somewhere between 8:30-9:30am. As soon as they get up, they get breakfast. Then we fill a little tray on their play table with a snack mix (cheerios, kale chips, raisins, stuff like that) and they graze until a lunch between noon - 1pm and they go down for a nap shortly after. Lunch is often a pb&j, sometimes eggs, it varies.
Then they chat and giggle and fight off naps, sometimes eventually falling asleep, sometimes not. But whenever they get up, by then it's been a few hours since they've eaten so I want to get something for them right away. We were doing scrambled eggs but they've gotten sick of those so we're not doing that as often. So we've been doing some sort of fruit meal, like a fruit and cheese plate or a smoothie.
The problem is that they're having this around 4:30-5pm so by the time dinner rolls around (6pmish), they're not hungry enough to eat anything that doesn't greatly appeal to them (like fruit or a cracker). As you can see, we're having trouble getting any kind of savory, dinner type of protein into them. If they get hungry enough to get fussy, by then they are already unhappy and just get pissed off at what they think are unpleasant offerings, but if I stave off hunger enough that they don't get really hungry, they'll just pick at whatever I give them.
So we're switching to a more European style of eating. From now on, they'll get "dinner" when they get up from their nap and then have their smoothie or fruit plate at what would have been dinner time.
|Oh we'll eat birthday cake any time!|
Today is the real test. I don't know if they successfully ate dinners because we were doing something out of the ordinary and eating is kind of a comfort thing we do when in unfamiliar surroundings or if switching the meals around actually had any effect. I'm hoping it's the latter.
By the way, K and I don't really eat on the same schedule as the girls. They need to go to bed around 7pm most nights, that's just when they start running on empty. We've tried to push this a little later but it never really works. However, K usually doesn't get home from work until after that. When he works a midshift, he'll get home right about 7pm so he can help me put the girls to bed, but he often works an hour or more later than that and doesn't come home until they are already in bed. And between the two of us, he's the far better cook. This makes dinner really awkward. Our choices are for me to cook a dinner when the girls need to eat, give them their portion (which is such a small amount) and then let it sit until it can be reheated with K gets home, make 2 dinners, one for the girls and then another one 2 hours later for the adults, or either K or I will cook dinner when he gets home and then the girls get leftovers for their dinner the following day. Whatever we choose doesn't seem to have any effect on whether the girls will eat what they're offered or not.
We haven't really found a system that works and it sucks that we're not able to do standard sit down family dinners in our household. I'm not quite sure how this is going to work when they are older and really need the structure of a household meal. I generally consider their dinner time my lunch time so I'm eating a little bit with them and then a proper dinner with K in the evening.We're hoping that within the next couple of years, K will be given more control over his schedule so it can be more consistent but we can't hold our breath for that.
Oh well, for now, we're just trying to get everyone fed when they're able to eat! Hopefully switching the girls to have their large meal of the day earlier in the day will make it easier to get more proteins and veggies into them. Give them the difficult food when they're hungry, but in a good mood because they've just been rescued from that awful toddler hell known as nap time.
*Ok, wtf? It's 3:45pm and I was going to hit publish on this post and rescue them from the nap they refused to take but they both just fell asleep! They've been in there over 2 hours fighting off naps (like they have been for a few days) so I figured it was going to be a no nap day and now this??? I'm so confused!