My kids suck at eating.
Just as a unit.
The older one, he’s sorta at the point where his need for getting food in his belly quickly is basically overtaking his brain and his taste buds to the point that as long as it’s dead, he will probably eat it. Hot, cold, tastesless, ugly. Doesn’t matter. He’s like a shark: eyes roll back in his head, food goes down his throat in a single chomp.
Fascinating to watch actually.
The little one isn’t so bad either. He has a repertoire of foods that he eats over and over and over again: waffles for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta and chicken with whichever vegetable I force him to endure for two spoonfuls for dinner, snack before bed. The snack is nonnegotiable under any circumstances. Not having a snack before bed is simply not an option.
It’s the middle one that gives me the most grief.
He has a chronic stomach issue, and then he declared himself a vegetarian, and then he went through a period wherein he was living off of only carbs, he decided to do the raw diet thing, then he quit eating entirely.
Now he is to the point where one day he’s perfectly fine with eating BBQ chicken and potato salad at the summer block party one week and the next he won’t touch it with a ten foot pole.
And, it’s the reason I’ve become a finger food specialist.
For whatever reason, you eliminate the fork from the equation and things suddenly start making sense again.
Fresh fruit. Veggies and dip. Sliders. Mini, um, anything. That’s how we roll.
Johnsonville asked me to try their fully cooked sausages and, because I hate turning on my oven ever in the summer, I figured they’d be a great, easy-to-incorporate addition to our finger food arsenal.
They’re fully cooked so technically they can be eaten straight outta the package (they taste better if you warm them up a bit), and they don’t have fillers (yeah, that useless, icky, slimy pink stuff they shove in meat to make you feel full) so they’re juicy and firm.
Plus, 7g of protein. My aspiring NBA-NFL-Olympic-Swim-Teamers need that for muscle building and fastness and what not.
They are happy to eat them in buns with ketchup and mustard on top, but sometimes I like to mix it up a little.
Here are some picnic perfect, finger foods for kids to dig…
1. Cheese-meat-cheese kebabs. The Dudes dig kebabs. Something about eating off of a utensil that looks an awful lot like a sword just gets them pumped. Also, raccoon décor courtesy of Dude #3.
2. Arrrgh bacon-sausage crackers. Yes, they make crackers flavored with bacon. Throw on some sausage and a bit of cheese then stab it with a pirate and you’ve got a winning Dude snack if I’ve ever seen one.
3. Apple pinwheels. I got all fancy and cut out the apple chunks before skewering them. Also, sometimes, I make my own decorative skewers. Nothing more than a puffy sticker and toothpick, that’s really all it takes to make little people happy.
4. Sausage apple sliders. My kids hate lettuce. So, instead, I dress their sandwiches up with apple slices sometimes. Perfect amount of crunch and sweet to compliment the sausage.
Have a favorite finger food to share? I’m open to suggestions. And to people who just want to come to my house and cook for my children.
*Today’s post was sponsored by Johnsonville sausages. All opinions, including the one about how my kids suck at eating, all me.