Jenn Morgan
Jenn Morgan Danny Drake

What is your favorite night of the week? Mine used to be date night. My husband and I would enjoy dinner and a movie. Perhaps a very cliched outing, however it was still a sweet night out. Now that we are blessed with our little lovely daughter, Isabella, we experience dinner and a tantrum. And let me tell you, this special night is not just one night a week. Oh no, we now get to experience this entertainment with our meal every night thanks to one little finicky tot.

When Isabella ate pureed baby food she would open her mouth like a little bird and eat what I gave her. Well, it wasn't always that easy. Sometimes we would go through two different flavors before we relied on a tried and true standby we knew she loved (macaroni and cheese), but eventually she would eat. Now, at almost 16 months old, Isabella will barely eat a food item at dinner, and the entire family usually ends up wearing her meal ... including the dog.

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I used to think sauced-items were the worst, but we have found the messiest meal by far - Pastina. If you are unfamiliar with this fine Italian cuisine, let me clue you in. It is a small pasta that is shaped in the teeniest, tiniest stars that you could imagine. Cooked in broth, it is delicious. Our Nana is always sure to have a warm bowl ready for Isabella at each Sunday dinner, and is kind enough to send a container home for her each week. The good news is that Isabella loves Nana's tasty Pastina so when other foods won't suffice, she will sometimes swallow a little down. The bad news is when she is finished with it, she throws the bowl of the remaining pasta soup all over our kitchen. The pasta ends up in her hair, in my hair, on the dog, up her shirt, up my shirt, down her pants ... you get the drift. My husband does not get off scot-free as he usually ends up wearing the food by means of transfer when I hand our little one to him so he can clean her up while I change my wet, food-spoiled clothes.

Even after Isabella has basically had a one-way food fight with us, at the end of the night, she still did not consume much food. So we end up back to the same question every night - what do we try to feed her now? After chicken, broccoli, yogurt and goldfish are thrown, we got nothing. After we are drenched in Isabella's milk (straight from the sippy cup that advertised "no spill!") - we are left high and dry, clueless as to what she will eat.

In all of our efforts to shove food in her face, Isabella often dismisses us with a nice, hearty shove of the food or hurl of the cup. Yet when Mom-mom treated us to breakfast this weekend, my little angel ate most of my cheese omelet, a little of her toast and some of Mom-mom's bacon. This child of mine would not stop eating. I am pretty sure she was just putting on a fine show so her grandmother thinks she is a perfect little eater. However, when we are back at home for dinner, the ugly truth comes out.


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