I have always prided myself on making ONE meal for my family. Adam and I are not picky eaters and it seems to have rubbed off on Drew. Of course I try to find low fat meals that will work with kids’ preferences but I generally make healthy meals for us all to eat. In order to “earn” dessert which is present at every dinner – you must eat a certain amount of your dinner, followed by fruit, and ending with a dessert of your choice. It’s worked for us…for the most part.
Things have gotten a little hairy with Noah’s eating habits, as previously mentioned. It’s hard to rationalize to a baby that they have to skip the dessert that his other two siblings are enjoying because he didn’t eat enough protein and veggies to warrant the opportunity. That being said, I’m trying with all my might on that one.
Gabby, on the other hand, has grown up living on air…and snacks. That girl would be happy dining on veggie straws, pirates booty, and even raw veggies every minute of every day. When it comes to a meal, it’s much more of a struggle to get the good stuff in her. The good news is that she understands the value of dessert and we can debate the need for a certain amount of bites to get the prize.
Last night she REFUSED to eat the meal that was served, which was unbelievably delish (recipe here)!!! There have been certain refrigerator options (yogurt, string cheese, Danimals, etc.) that I will reserve for those days where it’s near impossible to get a child to ingest what I’ve prepared. This instance, however, she got up from the table and was completely unwilling to join our family meal, let alone consume it. When the family reached the fruit portion of the meal, she returned. She wanted to jump on the fruit and dessert bandwagon – AS IF?!?!
Despite hysteria and shenanigans, we stood the course. I did re-offer her previously refused meal, not allowing fruit or dessert even if she did finish her dinner because she not only left the table but cried and carried on. Adam and I spent a long portion of this scenario reassuring ourselves that we were responding appropriately.
The real issue at hand, despite the disciplining issue we were up against, is if it is/isn’t appropriate to expect your children to eat what you are eating?!? If we are eating a delicious chicken chili, is that fair to have as the only option? Or should certain items like chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese be offered at every meal? Does forcing your children to eat an adult main course expand their palate? Or does it cause them to unfairly go hungry?