Friday, August 31, 2012

What Happens at Grandma's When We're Hungry?

Okay, let's see.....Nick will not eat cottage cheese. Bree loves it. Sae won't eat blueberries, but Nick gobbles 'em up if they are mixed in with applesauce. Bree used to love strawberries, but currently hates 'em. Everybody adores apple slices but nobody will eat tiny tomatoes, unless they are part of a pasta salad. Carrot sticks always disappear, as do slices of cheese, and Sae gobbles up salad like a hungry little rabbit. But Nick? Nah, he calls Romaine lettuce "stinky leaves" and makes me feel like I am trying to poison him!

So how does any of this become "my problem?" Well, because twice a week I babysit all day for all three of my picky picky (but adorable!) grandchildren! And you know, I do have to feed them while they are here!

I wish I could say that snack times on those days are as well disciplined as ones I remember from my own early elementary school years. Benevolent Sister Mary Patrice would precisely deliver one (1) saltine cracker to each first grader. That humble wafer was accompanied by one (1) small carton of whole milk. Silently, in days that well preceded the era of Facebook, we ate what was placed in front of us, never once venturing to "unlike" what we were given!

Today, a friendly, "This is what I have right now, dearie, and you will simply have to decide whether you will eat it or starve," is not the language one uses to address one's grandchildren. For heaven's sake! Even when a solution is direly needed, a comment like that remains the intellectual property of mommy and daddy. Grandpa and grandma must find their answers elsewhere.

I have heard that it is all in the presentation. In other words, people can be tricked into eating things they might otherwise pass by if those items are offered in an attractive package. That's why I pounced when I found roomy, colorful bento boxes at Pottery Barn Kids. Each grandchild now has a lunch container- pink, blue, or green. And every babysitting morning finds me happily filling each cubby with something wonderful to discover. Carrot sticks, ants-on-a-log, melon and apple chunks, grapes, cheese sandwiches, crackers spread with peanut butter, pasta salad, cottage cheese, applesauce, bananas......and everything is getting eaten alive these days!

Our former "non-applesauce-eaters" have become extinct. They have been replaced by a trio of cousins who race to the fridge to grab their own lunch box and see what grandma fixed for them that day. They love the self-service feature and the independence of selecting their own treats whenever they are ready to eat them. They don't mind trying something new, especially if it is "sold" to them on the tines of a cute little animal shaped bento fork! Each grandchild has excitedly told mommy and daddy about grandma's new lunch box plan, described the healthy eating within, and expressed excitement about enjoying their own self-scheduled snack times.

And good old grandma? Well, she just likes remaining stationary, appreciative of having former days of chaotic snack time a happily forgotten thing of the past!

Now this photo may look like an "official endorsement" and it sort of is one! But the endorsement is for grandma's idea and, not for any product mentioned here! I always just buy what I like and say whatever the heck I want to about it. And Bree? She just eats whatever she likes and says whatever the heck she feels about it. That's why the two of us are such a great team!


  1. LOL at the picture of Bree! These are such a great idea!!

  2. Oh my gosh! What child wouldn't love eating all those goodies the way you have presented them! Reminded me of when Amara was little and we would color her mashed potatoes blue to get her to eat them! It really is all in the presentation -- and you get kudos for yours! LOVE that photo of Bree!

  3. This post had me cracking up! But I have seen that BENTO BOX stuff here and there on the web and have thought to myself that it would be fun to get some, etc. You have me convinced :)

  4. Doing whatever you want and eating whatever you want and saying "what the heck" about both is the only way to go! Love the happy lunch box. So colorful! Good job, Grandma!

  5. Very cute and such a good idea! I wish I had a box with my name on it in your fridge! I wonder what you would put in there......Thanks for linking up with me :)

  6. if i only i did bento lunches when my daughter was young! now in high school she is still the pickiest of eaters. you go grandma! :) your grandkids sure are lucky!