For reasons that are unclear, there has been an organic and cage-free egg shortage that has been wreaking havoc on our food plans. We usually have a freezer stockpiled with muffins that we use for breakfasts and in school lunches. Our boys often have eggs for breakfasts. We are big fans of fried rice for a quick weeknight dinner. All of that has become much less possible when you can only get half-a-dozen eggs for more than $4……
I am going to go out on a limb here and declare it my favorite whole grain (well, it is really a seed, but we’ll just go with it). I know, I know. I’m a radical. Last night I made millet as a side for our dinner. Yet again, I was reminded how much I love it. If you have never had it, the way I like to describe millet is that it is a cross between quinoa and couscous. It tastes sort of like a nutty couscous, but it has the texture, the pop, of quinoa.
The other reason I love millet is that you can use it in so many ways! It is delicious under any sauce or stew where you might use rice, couscous, or quinoa. It is a wonderful side grain. Leftover millet can be turned into a delicious and nutritious breakfast porridge in 3 minutes. It is wonderful mixed into bread doughs and cookie batter, adding an extra crunch. It is amazing mixed into stews and soups, for an interesting texture. It is wonderful in salads (like this salmon, kale, and millet salad I had for lunch today!). You can also cook it into a thicker, polenta-style dish. Really, the possibilities are endless….
I have a confession to make. Despite all of my best efforts at introducing foods repeatedly and in different ways. Despite my numerous deep breaths and creative responses in order to avoid the battles of the wills. I have one kiddo who can be a very picky eater. The thing that really drives me crazy about it is that he isn’t always picky, just in phases. It has definitely become one of his ways to assert his independence. And right now he is going through one of those phases.
What does it look like? Well, he doesn’t really want to eat anything (except cookies and crackers, of course) and if we were willing to sit there and read a book with one hand and spoon feed him with the other, he’d think about eating, but really he just doesn’t want to be bothered. Part of the stress of it for us is that he is very small and has had weight gain and growth issues in the past. So, of course, every time he goes into one of these phases we start to worry: is he getting too skinny? will he ever grown out of his 2T clothes? etc., etc. But as his pediatrician once said, “the kid could live on air.” And sometimes it feels like he does. So we have found that in order to avoid making food an even bigger issue and an even greater source of independence exertion on his part, we have to offer the food, ask that he stay seated for family meals so we can all be together, and then let go. It can be hard….