Peanut butter and jelly: The last stronghold of lunch

I have been incredibly lucky to have a child that up until now, has had a fantastic appetite and a willingness to try almost anything. There are a few exceptions, of course. For instance, I have tried preparing eggs every way imaginable, and the kid just doesn’t like the texture. Otherwise, though, he has been a pretty good eater. Recently, however, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are becoming an overused last resort.

I am conditioned to add disclaimers, so, let me say that I am quite sure there are seventeen-thousand healthier, organic, preferred brands of peanut butter and jelly, but these common-fellows are the norm in our home. The delicious, give-Mommy-a-little-bite, norm. Meet peanut butter and jelly, or as Evan calls them: buttah-jewely! Granted, if we’re going to be eating PB&J sandwiches several times a week, I am going to have to seek lower sugar alternatives.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

It’s peanut butter jelly time, all the time.

The other food that Evan will almost always eat? Macaroni and cheese. I feel like lately all my child eats is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or pasta, and while that’s not the absolute worst that it could be, I would like to do better. I’ve been throwing a lot of vegetables in the trash this week, and even though I give it my best effort to encourage him to eat the meal presented to him, I would rather see him consume something, hence the frequent turn to his old favorites.

I mean, now that I’ve actually written this out and read it back to myself, I realize that perhaps he’s refusing his food because I am in essence training him to hold out for something else.

How do I remedy this problem? Do you let your toddler miss a meal (I’m not talking about sending him to bed without food, of course) so that he will be hungry enough to realize he needs to eat what he’s been given, or do you relent, and swap the veggies for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Also, let me say that I do not consider a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread a bad lunch, not at all, I am just not thrilled with it being so much, so often. Is it a big deal? Should I just be happy that he’s eating something, and wait for the phase to pass, or is there concern of contributing to his picky habits by giving him what he wants, over, and over?

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