Have you ever entered a battlefield where food is the weapon of choice? Well I have!!!
One of your basic motherly instincts is to force feed your child! And I have done just that. My 8 year old is a strong-willed feisty little girl who came out into the world knowing what she likes and what she doesn’t. She never heard of the saying: “Breast is Best!” and she intended letting me know way in advance that she chose the bottle over anything else. Step in judgement from others and mommy guilt!
I could never get her to eat fruit. She still doesn’t eat fruit to this day. On one particular holiday when she turned 1, she wouldn’t eat anything other than drinking her milk! I was so anxious and was sure I was breaking her!
Every meal was a stressful exercise for both of us. I didn’t know whether this was an act of disobedience or just a battle of wills. Either way I was stumped!
We’ve tried and still try the tactic of: “You will sit here until your plate is empty!” “You cannot have dessert unless you finish your food!”
Our precious family mealtime feast has turned into a feud!
We’ve been changing tactics and this is working to some extent. Superdad dares them to try something new every so often. My daughter is often up to the challenge lately and has added a number of foods to her still very short list of things she will eat. My son will try something new if his sister does it first because he is nobody’s guinea pig, I was told!
I recall as a child being in big trouble for not eating my green beans. My dad tried to force me and I spat it out all over the table. I still don’t eat green beans willingly!
So what does one do? Do you force feed and fight or let them be and worry about their nutrition? Here I’m stumped. It’s not as easy as just letting go as it is your responsibility to ensure that your kids get the balanced diet they require and should be getting. Discuss the issue with your healthcare provider or a dietician.
We’ve opted for a combination of force feeding and letting go. Sounds contradictory but it’s not. We offer our kids choices in what we dish up and when they start complaining, they may choose one type of food to leave out (the protein is not part of the options). We also divide the food in half and tell them they can choose a side to eat. We obviously manipulate this now by placing food on their plates that we know they hate so that they’ll eat the rest or dish extra so that half is still enough! Classes on manipulating kids would really be handy!
It helps to limit snacks and drinks before dinner as these definitely impact on their appetite; no matter how they try and assure you that they’ll eat their supper as well! It always ends up being a fight.
I’ve tried making their food into interesting shapes. Dinosaur sandwiches are a hit! But really, who has time to ensure that your kid’s food looks like it’s popped from a cartoon show? Not me!
I’ve bought every different flavour, type, shape of kiddies’ vitamins only to be told that this one’s texture isn’t right and that one tastes awful!
Sometimes we hit the jackpot!! We find something new they like! (They don’t both like the same thing though! Don’t be ridiculous! That would be making things way too easy for Mom and Dad.) We then bulk buy the item, knowing we’ve found the silver bullet, only to be told two months down the line that they no longer fancy this food!
The answer would definitely be nutritious food that looks and tastes like sweets! As we aren’t there yet, any advice from the other Supermoms out there would be highly appreciated!!
Happy healthy eating! (Motivating myself!!)
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