Friday, September 15, 2006

Food Fight?

My son doesn't eat at dinner, so presently, my daughter doesn't either, and I'm trying to figure out how much to care about that.

I can't help having my feelings hurt, and laughing about it at the same time:
Ds and I have an agreement - anytime he doesn't like a meal, after having actually tried it, he can make himself a cheese burrito and rejoin us at the table. But a couple of nights ago, he lied about having tried, and dh caught him in the lie. "I lied," he cried, "but I was only trying to protect Momma." How does it protect Momma not to try what she's made. "Not that. Why I said I tried it when I didn't. It's because everything she makes is horrible." Many sobs, shaking shoulders, and I'm still not understanding how this is supposed to protect my feelings. "Everything she makes is horrible. So horrible. But I never wanted to tell her that she's a bad cook." But there it was. He'd said it. My cooking is horrible, and he feels horrible for having said it. (I'm actually known as quite a good cook by everyone but my children, so this isn't the emotionally scarring event it could've been).

I had him peruse our favorite vegetarian cookbook and pick three meals (I'd pick the other two) for the weekdays. He chose pizza, black bean and citrus salad, and peanut noodles. The pizza was great (though he ate little). The black bean and citrus salad, on the other hand . . . Momma and Daddy loved, Miss I. ate when not distracted by ds, and ds left barely touched.

I'm seriously reconsidering his request to just allow him to eat cereal for dinner. So long as it isn't Cap'n Crunch. (But then, should he eat dinner for breakfast, as I once suggested?) Miss I., on the other hand, should still have to keep eating from among the "real" choices until she's five -- old enough to pick her own food fight. Wish me luck - or better, patience.


Michelle said...

Oh I'm with you on this one and it's so frustrating! Kayla very rarely touches her dinner (at least she's not telling me my cooking is horrible - ouch!) but it's so frustrating to watch her sit there and barely eat. She will (usually) take a bite if we put it on her fork and hold it up to her mouth, but she's 3 yrs old and can feed herself...I know we're enabling her when we do that, but I feel like she "needs!" to eat something for dinner so I feel better if she'll at least take a couple bites even if I'm feeding it to her. But that has to stop. Most times I don't give her a snack after her nap hoping she'll be hungry enough for dinner; doesn't usually work though. I wish there was some easy answer!

Mia said...

LOL....the eternal battle of wills between a parent and their child: FOOD.

Here is some extremely unsolicited crackpot advice from the mother of four.

1.You are not a short order cook. Learn it, live it, love it.

2. If given the choice between what you have made and something they like they will ALWAYS pick the latter. Eliminate the choice.

3. No matter how scary it is your children will not starve if they choose to not eat their dinner.

I feel I must warn you that following these three rules will lead to a very unplesant mealtime for about a week give or take a day or two. Once they know you are serious (no giving in)they will take the meal in front of them more seriously as well. You will be AMAZED at the foods they end up actually liking.

I do have one exception to this rule and that is single foods each child dislikes. I don't make them eat those but instead offer two helpings of something they do like or a substitution always on the table. For instance my daughter dislikes potatos in any form. I don't make her eat them. She either gets more of something she does like or cottage cheese or applesauce as a side when we have potatos. *Ah frick is there an e on the end of potato? I feel like Dan Quale.*

PS Your new post is very touching.