What do your kids EAT?

Mealtime in our house has been pretty special as of late. And by special, I mean it goes a little something like this:

{Penelope wakes up from her nap}

Mom: Penny Jane, are you hungry?

Penelope: {shakes head no}

Mom: Ok...do you want to just try a sandwich?

Penelope: {continues playing with her dolls, completely freezing Mom out in total ignorance}

five minutes later...

{Penelope walks over to Mom, grabs hand, pulls Mom to refrigerator and puts up her hands in a 'pick me up' motion}

Mom: {opens refrigerator} What do you want to eat? We can make a sandwich...

P: no! {whines}

Mom: How about pasta & veggies with cheeeeese? Yum!

P: No! {whines more}

Mom: Ok...how about a cheese stick? or a Babybel!

P: no! {whines and points to nothing}

Mom: Hummus? Do you want the hummus?!

P: {whines turning to crying and wiggling out of Mom's arms}

Mom: Just tell me what you want to eat! Please!

P: {points to cabinet...repeat above refrigerator scene at pantry cabinet}

 

...sooo yeah. This seems like an exaggeration, but it's really only slightly {but kind of not even at all}. I hate to say that Penelope is a picky eater, but I guess she is becoming one. And man...it's really annoying. Shaun and I are both willing to make her just about anything that she would eat and I could even accept it if she just didn't want anything at all. But the whining. Oh dear Lord, the whining. 

She still loves her fruit and of course, loves all kinds of snacks like fruit snacks, lollipops and other sugar-laden goodies that I try to avoid all together on most days. It's a constant challenge to keep things interesting for her, but also to get her to actually TRY things. I can spend time making her something new and exciting only for her to physically push it away before I even set it down on her tray. It's enough to make me want to pull my hair out some days, or just give her a giant sippy cup full of milk and call it a day.

 

Here are the foods that she will sometimes eat {depending on the day}:

pasta with tomato sauce & lots of parmesean cheese

cheese sticks, babybel cheese, cheese slices, cheddar cheese & crackers {notice a pattern here?}

ramen noodles

fruit {mostly any kind at any time and would live on a sole fruit diet if allowed, but especially grapes, melon, strawberries & bananas}

dip, hummus {which I'm trying to convince her IS dip}

cream cheese & jelly; when served on whole wheat, she will open the sandwich, lick off the cream cheese & jelly and discard the rest; when served on white bread, she might eat the whole sandwich.

yogurt {any kind; whole milk vanilla, plain Greek w/maple syrup}

fruit snacks, lollipops, ice pops, doughnuts, cookies, cupcakes or any other terrible for you snack.

 

So that's the mealtime story in our house lately. By some miracle she actually ate the banana pancakes that I made for her last week (which she helped with!), but when we tried to give it to her another day, she refused.

 

What do you feed your kids and toddlers?

Any tips or tricks to share for getting them to actually EAT?

And just for my sanity...how do you deal with toddler whining?!