I have been feeding my dd whole grain hot cereal for breakfast most mornings of her food-eating life. She is almost 4 and seems to have gotten sick of it. Sometimes she won't eat it at all, or will only eat a few bites, and then, of course she is hungry again soon. I made brown rice instead this morning, and suggested she have it with tamari. She opted for a little maple syrup instead and only ate a couple bites. Her suggestion is that we have eggs and toast every morning. I'm tempted, but I really think we should have real, whole grains if we're eating grains for breakfast. We are gluten-free, so buy expensive gluten-free bread (I'm not sure I'm up to making my own just now). Dd has a huge appetite, and I don't think I can afford to buy enough bread for her to have it for breakfast every day. She also asks for cheese and crackers for breakfast often...maybe I should just go for it -- I mean, what's wrong with chevre and crackers? So, I was thinking of other ideas for breakfast. Maybe serving more things, like rice, miso soup, and a vegetable or oatmeal, fruit, and nuts/seeds. I don't want to make it so much work that I won't stick with it, though.
So, a related issue is that she is increasingly vocal about what we're having for meals and snacks and we have long conversations several times many days about what she can have for a snack. It's driving me nuts. There is a list of things she can have whenever she wants, but she's started saying she can't eat hard things -- which is basically everything on the list. She also asks for fruit, dried fruit, or sweets a lot more than she used to. I've always just let her eat when she's hungry and not worried about it too much, but I'm having a hard time with it right now. She will ask me for a snack 10 times a day, even though my answer is always the same -- go get yourself something. Then (probably a mistake) I wind up reminding her what she can choose from and she starts angling for something else.
I don't want a power struggle. I don't want to be expending a bunch of energy discussing it every day. I guess I should make up a snack tray for her, but I just feel like I don't have time. I soaked some almonds last night that I am slow-roasting right now, so that will be a good, healthy item, but sometimes I'm just at a loss, ya know?
I really don't want to cater to her, and I generally don't, but occasionally I make her something else when she doesn't want what I've suggested we have for lunch...before I made it, though; I don't make 2 lunches. At dinner I do make her something else or make sure we have sides she likes if we are having something I know she doesn't like or can't eat (i.e. too spicy).
She has always been a great eater, and eats a wide variety of foods. I kind of think she is just trying to assert herself. Maybe there are some good ways I can let her have some control without it driving me crazy or making more work for me.
Please tell me how you have dealt with similar issues and give me some breakfast and snack ideas!