5 Food Victories That Make Moms Secretly Go Nuts (in a Good Way)

woman dancing in kitchen

When my oldest son was born, I had high hopes for creating a tiny foodie. I grew up as an incredibly picky eater who balked at anything different (particularly if it was green and came from the ground), and I was determined to raise my kid differently.

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Yup, I was going to follow all of my pediatrician's rules in terms of the best way to effectively introduce solids to my son, and I bought a slew of cookbooks that promised my little guy would develop a well-rounded palate.

At first it all went swimmingly. Aside from a distaste for peas (which I couldn't hold against him -- peas are one of the few veggies I still don't like), my son gleefully gobbled up everything I put in front of him. Cod croquettes, butternut squash risotto, the sky was the limit!

More from CafeMom: How to Cure Picky Eating in 3 Easy Steps

Then a weird thing happened: He turned 2. Once-beloved meals were being returned untouched, and he was highly annoyed with "management" for serving him anything that wasn't macaroni and cheese.

As the tide began to turn, I gave birth to my youngest son. Exhausted and frustrated with watching my 2-year-old abandon the meals I had spent a great deal of time and thought creating, I started to cave frequently. If mac and cheese meant my toddler was fed, happy, and not throwing his dinner on the floor, then mac and cheese it would be.

That being said, I had no hope with my youngest. Stubborn from the start, he wasn't going to touch a thing that his brother wasn't willing to devour. I knew I'd be scoring a big old "F" on my imaginary mommy report card in the nutrition category.

Keep in mind that my husband and I are the parents you'll hear saying "Finish your hot dog or no dessert" -- but occasionally we score the rare food victory that may sound super small (or completely insignificant if you have a good eater) to someone else, but which gives me a secret satisfaction high.

1. When their lunchboxes return empty.

It's a really good day when, shock of all shocks, my boys actually eat all of their lunch (particularly when I pack them a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, a fruit, and a cheese -- the closest to a well-balanced meal I can get out of them ... when they feel like it). I offer myself an imaginary high-five along with accolades for my obviously stellar parenting.

2. Guys, sometimes they eat salmon.

It doesn't happen all the time, but more often than not salmon is a protein that they actually don't complain about. Sometimes it's just a few bites; sometimes it's an adult-size portion ... but salmon!

More from CafeMom: 11 Creative Kid Excuses for Why They Can't Eat That (PHOTOS)

3. They actually rejected sweets because they were full!

Okay, so this only applies to my oldest because my younger son has a sweet tooth and zero will-power like his mama, but, yes, the kid will actually look the other way at a party when surrounded by treats because he's "just not hungry." I've never met a cupcake I didn't like, so the fact that I have a kid with a real-deal sense of fullness and portion control deserves its own celebration.

4. Those times when they ask to try something on my plate.

Considering the last time I made chicken piccata my son looked at it with disgust while asking, "Do you like that ... what you made?", any time they show an interest in something on our plates I'm bowled over. Of course I try to play it super cool, like it's totally not a big deal if they want to check out the broccoli or cauliflower mash, but inside I'm dying. Dying!

5. When they ask for seconds, and it's not macaroni, pizza, or chicken nuggets.

It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while I feel like they're throwing me a bone in terms of eating. Once while enjoying his beloved chicken nuggets, my youngest son noticed my husband and me eating grilled chicken and asked for a bite. One bite turned into an entire chicken breast followed by my oldest asking to try some as well. They were even asking for more after they'd taken their nighttime bath. Have they eaten that chicken prepared the exact same way since then? No, but that one night was totally magical.

So let's give it up for the little victories. They may be few and far between, but I'll take 'em every chance I get.

 

Image via iStock.com/Anetlanda

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