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rainbow dinner

liz lamoreux

We've hit that stage where Ellie is saying things like, "I don't like green guys" when she sees bit of basil in her pasta sauce or jumping to "I don't like {insert new food she's never had here.}" The good thing is that she already eats a wide variety of foods and loves several fruits and veggies that she eats daily. But as we dive into farmers' market season here, I really want her to at least try fresh foods that are new to her.

A few weeks ago, I had this sudden brainstorm: Rainbow Dinner.

I explained that we were going to go to the market near our home and buy two fruits we love + one we've never tried, two vegetables we love + one we've never tried, and two cheeses we love + one we've never tried. And we were going to look for all different colors as we were exploring.

Ellie was so excited! She even wanted to wear her rainbow skirt to match her dinner.

We walked through the store naming all the foods and deciding what to put in the cart. There was a lot of: Let's try PURPLE CARROTS! I want to try those yellow tomatoes. Oh yes yes Mommy we MUST get those avocados, I'll put them in the bottom of the cart for you.

It was awesome.

We then worked together to wash and gather everything into pretty bowls and plates and ate at the table on the backporch.

She tried a bite of everything. She didn't like everything, but she was really happy to try. This didn't happen the next time we did "rainbow dinner." She only wanted to try the things she liked. The next time she was more open. And now she loves eating strawberries off the stem even though it means being closer to the green guys.

We've also turned our rainbow dinner into a rainbow pizza the next night when she wanted to put the yellow tomatoes and even the prosciutto onto her pizza. And we've done rainbow pasta.

 

But here is the really important part: On one hand, yes, this is a story about a parenting win. And I really believe in recording the wins so you can look at them and remember that there are moments when what you are trying to do works...where there is more joy than arguing...where there is softness and laughter.

But this is really about me taking the time to imagine the life I really want to create over here. I want there to be more fresh food going into our bodies. But I don't cook every day and that isn't going to change overnight. I'm not someone who thinks ahead of time about dinner and find myself texting with Jon at the end of the day saying, "Just get takeout again." And we eat in front of the TV sometimes. A lot of times.

Even though takeout will still happen and we will still sit in front of the TV sometimes, I have a choice:

Beat myself up for not being the kind of mom who cooks every night.

OR

Make one move toward more dinners at the table + getting Ellie to try new foods by having some version of rainbow dinner a couple of nights a week.

I can make the choice to make one more move toward the life I want to create over here. Beating myself up for not making those moves gets me nowhere closer to that life today.

And those moves start to add up. Ellie is now saying, "Can we go to the market and get food for rainbow dinner after nap today?"

Yes, honey. Yes. We. Can.

*****

If the idea of unearthing the life you're imagining for yourself and then making one move each day toward it resonates with you, consider joining Hand to Heart, my free ongoing community of women. Each month I share different ideas to add to your current self-care practice and we explore ways to make simple moves toward living the life we really want for ourselves and our loved ones.

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