Am I a Mean Mommy?

My daughters (all three of them) once loved to eat my lasagna: Italian sausage, ricotta, tomato sauce, layered between lasagna noodles and topped with mozzarella cheese.  A month ago, my five and a half year old daughter, Catie, began a phase I now refer to as the ‘Tomater-Hater Stage’.  Since lasagna is a regular meal for my family of five, I decided to try out some substitution for the tomato sauce.  Catie agreed to give each a try.  I began with Ragu’s Cheese Sauce, still with the sausage, ricotta cheese and mozzarella.  Catie told me after the first bite, “It tastes like macaroni and cheese with meat.”  So that version of the standard recipe was a THUMBS DOWN

Next, I tried Alfredo Sauce, still with the ricotta cheese and mozzarella.  My older daughter agreed it was okay, but still missing something.

Last night, I made the lasagna with these recipe variations: Alfredo sauce, turkey Italian sausage, frozen spinach (thought I’d risk it), ricotta cheese, topped with a fiesta blend of shredded cheese.  Rosie saw me setting the table, ran down the hall, calling her sisters: “Hay-wee! Kay-tee! Dee-know Time!”  All three girls came to the table, and while Catie put me through the third degree on the ingredients, Halie dug into her food.  My seven year old began grunting with delight, then telling her sister how greatit was.  Catie, trusting her older sister, timidly tasted her first small bite.  She began shoveling the lasagna in, and proclaiming the same thing!  At one point, Catie asked aloud about the green things in the lasagna.  Before I could even answer, Halie piped in: “It tastes so good, it must be peppers!”  Knowing that if I corrected Halie and told them it was indeed spinach I would be cleaning up vomit off my table, walls and floor, I bit my tongue and let them enjoy. 

When my husband got home, we immediately took the girls to get Back-to-Schoolhaircuts. My DH was unable to drive us home afterward, having paid with his arms and one leg. 😉  As we headed home, the girls jammed to music in the back seats, and I leaned over and told my husband about the whole lasagna incident.  He told me that I should blog it!  So, here it is:  What do YOU think? What would YOU have done?



  1. Karen said,

    August 3, 2006 at 9:38 am

    You handled it great. By the way, it sounds delicious. Sometimes what kids don’t know is important – especially when it comes to food. It’s amazing the phases they go through.

  2. Diana said,

    August 3, 2006 at 11:51 am

    I wouldn’t have said a word about the spinach, either.

  3. jerseytjej said,

    August 3, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    You let it ride and enjoy the compliments on the variation! I WISH I could get italian sausage (or any other sausage for that matter) here. My oven is on the blink and it is too hot to think about buying ahother one or to try baking. Autumn is right around the corner and I am so psyched. Poor husband, losing the limbs at the barber, LOL!

  4. August 3, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    I think you did the right thing. I like to sneak a lot of food by the boys. My two younger ones at least, my oldest is usually up for the challenge of trying something new. My favorite response to “I don’t like that” is “Really, I have made this a bunch of times and you ate it AND loved it every single time.” Usually, that gets them to eat.

    Maybe you should post the recipe. It sounds really good!

  5. Lindsay said,

    August 4, 2006 at 11:27 am

    I would have done the same. A momma’s gotta do, what a momma’s gotta do!

  6. JayMonster said,

    August 8, 2006 at 11:04 am

    With a dietary limitation of Pizza, Peanut Butter and Jelly or Breaded Chicken, I admittedly would try ANYTHING to get my daughter to eat (or at least TRY) more than she eats now.

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