Nutrition Coaching A Single Mother and Daughter – Day 2

Today Sylvia went to school with the lamb in the butternut squash soup inside a thermos. In case she didn’t like the lamb we included a hard-boiled egg and salami. We also included raw red bell peppers and mashed potato with butter. I was pretty sure this was going to work but again she didn’t like the lamb or the butternut squash. She speculated that somehow the lamb made the squash soup taste badly. Oh well. This is a process. She did enjoy the salami and the hard-boiled egg as well as the raw red peppers. She ate half of the mashed potato with butter. At least she didn’t go hungry and she didn’t feel the need for a snack right after school. She wanted to wait until dinner.  We had dinnerIMG_2894 at her grandmother’s house at 5 pm. Fortunately grandma is on the paleo bandwagon too. We ate butternut squash soup (made with homemade chicken broth), avocado salad, broccoli, and paleo sriracha on steak. I’m pleased at this point that I’m not hearing complaints from Sylvia about missing sugar or high-carb foods. She seems to be doing just fine on a moderate carb diet with no refined sugar and not much fruit. Most of the carbs are from squash and potatoes.

To mix things up a bit I promised Sylvia last night that we would make Michelle Tam’s (Nom Nom Paleo) recipe for Mexican Chocolate Pots de Creme which is basically a coconut milk and dark chocolate fudge custard with hardly any sugar. She was ecstatic. Finally some dessert that looked like real dessert! I didn’t know if she would like it because there are just a few grams of sugar in this and dark chocolate instead of her favorite milk chocolate. I used 4 oz of unsweetened baking chocolate and 3 oz of a sweetened dark chocolate bar. (Dark chocolate has much less sugar than milk chocolate). The recipe requires 4 hours of waiting while the chocolate custard mixture hardens in the refrigerator. We had to wait until after dinner with Grandma. Right before digging in we whipped up coconut cream (no sugar) and vanilla extract that is close to a whipped cream but youIMG_2897 use refrigerated coconut cream and whisk in a cold stainless steel mixing bowl. Becky and I thought it was amazing. At first Sylvia thought it was great too but then she said she would like it more if it were milk instead of dark chocolate. But she did like it. Great.

Just before 8 pm Sylvia asked for a snack. She said she was hungry. I suspected she wasn’t really hungry and asked her how she knows that she’s hungry. She said, “because I feel like eating something.” Not the response I was looking for and she had a substantial dinner at 5:30. I tried to explain to her that sometimes people think they feel hungry because they’re bored or they just want the sensation of something in their mouth. Or they’re actually thirsty instead of hungry. I suggested some water. She didn’t like this and looked sad. Perhaps this is something difficult to explain to a child. Becky looked anxious too. She didn’t like that I was pushing back on her daughter’s request for food. After all she wasn’t asking for carbs, only the leftover pork in lettuce cups that we made the day before. What’s the harm in a protein snack. We discussed openly in front of Sylvia. I told Becky that this is late to be eating and if anything something with more starch is more appropriate. Becky insisted that it should be okay to give her a small amount of pork. I didn’t want a scene in front of Sylvia so I said okay. Later, without Sylvia present, I explained to Becky that saying no to her daughter is something she will need to get used to, especially if she is quite certain that she is not hungry when asking for food. I did feel some doubt around my stated view on this. Maybe it is perfectly fine. Is it unnecessary to deny a child a request for non-sugary food even if it is 8 pm?

Tomorrow we try chicken nuggets, using tapioca flour, with homemade sriracha mayonnaise as the dipping sauce. I’m hoping she likes this since it will not taste like chicken nuggets from McDonald’s or some other processed source.

© Eddie Eriksson, 2014