Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Food Wars

For the past few weeks, dinner has been a nightmare for us. Screaming, throwing food, bribery, time-outs, and lots of tears. The only things Jack will eat without a fight are peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, quesadilla, and fruit. And, bummer for him, I am at the point where I refuse to make him a special meal just because he doesn't like what I make. I realize that he is an only child and it isn't difficult for me to throw together a sandwich for him, but I believe that would spoil him. I spend a lot of energy and time planning menus and cooking food for our family and I think it's only fair that he eats what the rest of the family is eating. Besides, it's not like I make disgusting food that no child would eat. So, from now on, he can eat what I serve or he can go to bed hungry. I am done forcing him to "try" anything. He'll learn eventually, right? RIGHT?

What brought all of this on? The battle of the century took place in our dining room last night. Jack sat at the table for 1 hour and 10 minutes because he refused to eat one bite of sweet & sour turkey meatball. A meatball. Covered in sugary sauce. Not even beef. One bite. I think he would've sat there until midnight if we let him. He ended up going straight from the table to bathtime and then bed. I don't know who "won" the battle...I'm pretty sure he thinks he did. And, another battle this morning. A chocolate chip muffin. Seriously. A muffin with chocolate in it. He ate his grapes, but refuses to eat the muffin. So, I told him that he couldn't eat anything until snack time. So far, we've only had one tantrum over it. (It's only 7:20 am though)

On another, completely unrelated, note....we have a beautiful lilac bush/tree/thing in our backyard and I really wanted to bring some of the flowers in. So, Lonnie cut some off last night and I put them in water in the kitchen. Apparently I am allergic to lilac flowers. As soon as I walked into the kitchen this morning, I started sneezing and couldn't stop. Eyes watering, puffy, congested, the works. Lonnie eventually took the flowers upstairs and I opened the window. Now I'm much better. I am so bummed though...the flowers are so pretty to look at! Guess I'll just have to enjoy them outside for now.


Anonymous said...

Pretty sure J-dogg won the battle! :) I'm sure he will learn to eat what is given to him...tell him Uncle Josh said so! Love you guys.

Meredith said...

I think what you are doing with food is great. We do the same at our house. We also set a time tho. We tell him dinner wil be over in (however many minutes - usallly 30) and then give another reminder at 5 minutes. Whatever he doesnt eat after that is gone. He can then wait til the next meal. This has helped us not sit at the table for hours on end and not begging him to eat just one bite. Sometimes if he says he is hungry a little while later I will pull his dinner back out - usually he says he doesnt want that and isnt hungry anymore. The battles are less and less now. Sorry about the allergies!

Givinya De Elba said...

Oh how difficult! You're doing well Stephanie. Your menus sounds great, and you're right - kids need to learn to eat proper food (might drive us mad in the meantime though). Hang in there!

Not sure that Jack won the battle. The fact is you can't force him to eat (and if you could, you couldn't force him to LIKE it!) and when Jack made the decision not to eat, he missed out an any fun stuff between dinner and bath/bed.

I think Mommy might have 'won' that one, really. ('Winning' = having the authority to enforce consequences when Jack makes his own decision, I think.)

But hey - from where I look (all the way from Australia) Jack is totally cute no matter what.

mommastantrum said...

Great sticking to your guns. And I agree with what everyone has said here. The only other thing that I would add is to make sure that there is always one thing at the meal that you know he will eat. (Fruit, veg, rice whatever.) This worked for us during the tougher meals, because then I knew he was eating something that he liked, which also helped him feel a little more in contol too. And it really boils down to testing limits and control. Oh, how this stinks for all of us!