Parenting a 3 year old is hard work. Sometimes it takes every ounce in your being not to completely flip out, and other times it takes every ounce in your being not to laugh hysterically at their ridiculous antics. How else can you get through things like your kid blowing a full blown tantrum when you ask them to do something simple like put on a pair of socks? Or when they’re crying I WANT TO BRUSH MY TEETH. And you say, “Let’s go brush your teeth” and they reply NOOO! Toddler logic, man.

A while back, I made sloppy joes for dinner. Like he always does when he gets home from school, Zachary asked, “What’s for dinner, mom?” and I told him. Let me preface this by saying that although this was literally the first time I’d made sloppy joes, I knew he’d eaten them before at school and at other houses several times and really liked them, usually eating multiple servings. But this time, he said, “I don’t LIKE sloppy joes!” Even he knew this was a lie, so soon enough he changed his story to, “I CAN’T eat sloppy joes” to which I asked, “Why?”  The answer? “Because I’ll put too much sloppy joe on my spoon and then when I put it in my mouth I’ll choke.” I told him this could easily be remedied by, you know, not putting too much on his spoon (don’t ask me why he eats sloppy joes with a spoon instead of his hands). I read in Nurture Shock that kids who lie are like really brilliant or something, so I’m pretty sure my kid should be in Mensa.

At any rate, I wasn’t a really big fan of the first recipe I used for sloppy joes on that fateful evening, so I decided to seek another one out this time around. I was much happier with the results of this recipe, and as a bonus, it’s healthier. A can of beans is added to the mixture, which is a great way to add some fiber and boost the number of servings more cheaply. There are no refined sugars and the jalapeño gives it just a little kick (though I did prefer adding a little hot sauce to my portion). And of course, Zachary ate it and liked it.

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