Happy Meal

For those of you who’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that I live with the pickiest eater on the planet (a.k.a. Dylan).  If you’re new to the blog, just click on “food issues” or “sensory processing disorder” in the category cloud (on the bottom left) to catch up.  (It could take a while.  Maybe you want to grab a snack.)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned along this exhausting food journey with Dylan, it’s that there’s only person who’s going to decide if Dylan eats new food, and that person is Dylan (i.e. not me).  That’s how he came to eat nibble celery, and it’s how he finally ate spaghetti (but not penne, never penne).  What I want more than anything for Dylan is for food to be a source of fun and joy.  I want every meal he eats to be happy.  I want him to have happy meals, always.

Speaking of which, on Friday evening, Dylan declared that he was going to eat a McDonald’s hamburger on Saturday afternoon and that after he ate the hamburger he was going to buy a bat cave (as a reward) at the toy store.



My kids, like most kids, love junk food.  Cake, cookies, cotton candy, movie theater popcorn, donuts, candy, etc.  For all of their picky eating, they’ll eat just about anything filled with sugar, fat, salt, and food coloring.  Last weekend at the carnival, Dylan ate salty, greasy popcorn and Riley slurped a blue raspberry snow cone.  By the time he finished, his entire face, including his teeth, were stained blue.  It was gross, but it was okay, because at home we eat wholesome (mostly) food, and we don’t eat fast food.

I grew up eating fast food occasionally.  (Didn’t we all?)  I especially loved McDonald’s breakfast.  Hotcakes with butter and syrup and a brick of Hash browns served up in a devastating-for-the-environment Styrofoam container.  I also remember having a birthday at McDonald’s.  Maybe it was my sister’s party, actually.  In any case, it was someone’s birthday and we ate happy meals and there was a Ronald McDonald cake and there were disposable metal ashtrays on all the tables.

Now, though, I have some pretty strong feelings about how food and disease are linked, how we are what we eat and all that stuff, and how McDonald’s hamburgers supposedly don’t decompose, so I don’t hit the drive-thru much…ever.  That said, the best way to describe my desperate desire for Dylan to broaden his diet is this:  If Dylan asks a McDonald’s hamburger, I’ll find a 24-hour drive-thru in the middle of the night.

On Saturday afternoon, Mike took Dylan to McDonald’s for a happy meal.  I didn’t go with them because Dylan + new food + me (Anxiety Mama) = nothing good.  In other words, it was best if I stayed home and waited nervously by my phone for text messages, pictures, and videos.

I won’t drag this out and make you wonder, Did he eat it?  He didn’t.


Not lovin’ it.

But, he did taste the hamburger before he spit it out, and that’s better than running away from the table screaming.  (FYI: Riley didn’t like it either.  In fact, he wouldn’t even taste it.)  Was the happy meal a happy meal?  No.  Yes.  Maybe.  Of course, I wish Dylan had eaten the hamburger, because eating any new food is progress, but I must admit that I’m happy he didn’t like it.  (Sorry Mickey D’s).

Do your kids like fast food?


Filed under Anxious Mama, food issues, sensory processing disorder, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Happy Meal

  1. It’s a fine line we walk when trying to feed finicky eaters! My little girl isn’t overly picky, no food issues per se. But her ADHD med kills her appetite and the doctor wants us to fatten her up! But my girl loves her fruits and veggies and always fills up on those and then doesn’t want the rest of her meal. (I never thought I’d hear myself say, “NO, you may NOT have more beans until you finish your pizza!”) It’s tricky getting the calories and fats in when we’ve instilled healthy eating habits…snacks are especially challenging!


    • Believe it or not, there was a time when my son who hasn’t eaten meat in over three years only ate chicken. Nothing but chicken. All the time. And it drove me crazy! There are no easy answers…and the questions just keep changing. Good luck with your daughter!


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