Thursday, July 21, 2011


Last night I felt like I had a victory with Nicole. We went to the store yesterday and let Nicole pick out the type of noodles that she wanted for dinner. She said she wanted Butterfly noodles (bowtie). So, we got butterfly noodles and the rest of the ingredients for dinner and went home.

I made an Alfredo Broccoli Pasta for dinner. It looked like this...

I served it up on Nicole's plate and then cut up the broccoli into miniscule pieces and cut the pasta noodles in half (she is constantly telling us that her bites are too big, so we cut up everything small). I sat Nicole down in her booster chair and offered her a noodle on her fork.

"Nicole, you want some noodles? They are butterfly noodle."

"No! I don't want it. I can't! I want some gaterade."

I took a deep breathe so as not to get too frustrated because I hate it when she asks for food and then tells me "no." Matt and I decided a few days ago that we were no longer going to make meal time a fight. We felt like we were fighting with her every meal and the more we tried to force and coerce her to eat, the more that she dug in her heals.

She would eat for my sisters or my mom, but the second I came into the room, it was, "No, I don't want it!" So, I figured that it was something that I was doing that was making her purposefully rebel against me.

So, last night when she told me "no," I said, "Okay Nicole, you can eat it if you want to."

Then, I set down her fork and Matt and I ate our dinner and had a conversation and ignored her. (The dinner was really yummy and I will put the recipe at the bottom of the post.) Then, as we were eating and ignoring, she picked up her fork, looked at the noodle and tentatively put it in her mouth. My heart soared! We immediately started cheering for her when she ate the noodle and told her what a big girl she was and how proud we were. She loved this!

"I a big girl Mama! I like noodles," she told me.

Then she just continued to eat her noodles, occasionally asking for help when she couldn't get one on her fork. But, avidly avoiding the broccoli (which she picked out at the store because she said, "I like broccoli"). So, I decided to give it a try, knowing that I might ruin all the success that she had had with eating the noodles.

"Nicole, do you want to try the broccoli?"

"No, I don't want it."

"Nicole, do you want to try a baby bite?"

"No, I can't"

"Nicole, it would make me so happy if you tried a baby bite of your broccoli."

(Side note: baby bites are small bites, mama bites are slightly less small bites, and daddy bites are regular sized bites. She made up these names.)

Reaching out with two fingers, Nicole picked up a tiny piece of broccoli top. She put it in her mouth and chewed it with a yuck face.

"You did it! I'm so happy!" I cheered.

"You get to put money in the pig because you ate your broccoli!" (this is her reward system)

Then, there was no stopping her. She was ravenous, like she hadn't eaten in days (she hadn't had a nice full meal since taco night on monday; her choice, not mine). She ate the broccoli, and she ate the noodles all gone from her plate and then she said, "Mama and Daddy are happy?" And my heart melted. And then she asked for seconds.

It was one of the happiest dinners that we have had with her. There was no frustration, there were no tears or meltdowns, and she was so happy after she had finished her second and third helping (probably because her tummy was finally full). And, we were happy because it was not a fight at dinner time.

Dinner did take a full hour for her to eat and Matt and I finished eating after just 20 minutes, but Matt patiently sat at the table with her until she was finished eating and he didn't rush her. We discovered that if we try to rush her for any meal she fights us even more and just will not eat. So, we have tried to schedule more time for her meals (though that is impossible for breakfast because they get dropped off at the sitter's every morning).

After she finished eating, she got M&Ms for desert and got to put 5 monies in the pig. Success! Well, for one night at least. Tonight is chicken pitas with cucumber sauce we'll see how well she does with that.

Broccoli Alfredo Pasta

1 pkg Pasta (your choice)
2 small heads of Broccoli
1 1/2 c Whipping Cream
2 cloves Garlic
2 T Butter
2 T Bacon Grease
2 t Olive Oil
1/4 c Parmesean Cheese
1 handful Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 t salt (or seasoning salt)

Put butter, olive oil, and bacon grease into a large frying pan on medium heat. (I do a mix of grease for these reasons: butter and bacon are for flavor and the olive oil keeps the butter and bacon grease at a lower temp so they don't burn or catch fire.) Mince garlic and put in pan when it is hot. Cook garlic until you can smell it. If it starts to brown, then you have most likely burnt it and it will be bitter... don't do that.
Add cream, cheese, and salt. Whisk all of it together until mostly combined (the cheese will need time to melt). Reduce heat to low and let bubble for 7 minutes so the sauce can thicken. You know when it is done when the cheese has melted and when you stick in the tip of a spoon, it comes out all coated in sauce. Keep sauce on warm until pasta is done.

Bowl a pot of water with a pinch of salt and a dash of oil in it (salt is for taste and the oil is to prevent boiling over). When boiling, add pasta and boil until aldente. Drain and place directly into sauce. (Do this consecutively while making the sauce so that you can throw the pasta directly into the sauce. That is the secret to making it good, don't let the pasta sit!)

Boil a small pot of salted water (enough water to cover the amount of broccoli you are cooking).  Put broccoli in when boiling and cook for 1 minute. Do not exceed a minute or you will have mushy broccoli! Drain broccoli and put directly into sauce.

Putting it together
Once the broccoli and pasta are in the sauce, stir it all up until sauce coats everything. Serve with Parmesean on top and it is delicious! You could also saute some chicken and serve that with the pasta. I didn't because I didn't have any defrosted chicken.

Enjoy! Nicole sure did.


Sarah said...


Jasmine said...

YAY!!!!! I'll keep my fingers crossed for continued success. :)

Marie said...

That is so great! Just let her do it herself and she's happy! Good job!