Wednesday, August 01, 2007

food wars, day 2

Thank you for the suggestions, but I think I have given the wrong idea about what meal time has been like in our house for the past few years. The children (except Mary) will not eat anything but bread, cereal, pasta, fruit, and cheese. They will just not try anything new and they have only gotten pickier over the years. It is not healthy for children to have so little protein or iron in their diets, especially for their brains. The options for serving something everyone will eat have dwindled down to grilled cheese and mac and cheese. One won't eat pizza, one won't eat pb&j, none will eat veggies, and only one will eat meat. Well, change that last one. We had some progress at dinner this evening. I know it sounds cruel, but I am willing to have them suffer for the short-term in order to emerge with some more healthy eating choices. If, in a few years we live on a farm we should all be eating eggs, chicken, and vegetables that we raise, not leaving them for me to eat and then begging for potato chips for supper.

Tuesday tabulation:

Breakfast: oatmeal with milk, butter, cinnamon and raisins
Will: ate nothing
Mary: polished off her serving in record time
Maggie: ate nothing
Charlie: picked out all the raisins and then ate nothing

Lunch: beanie weenies
Will: ate nothing
Mary: picked out hot dogs, scrounged everyone else's hotdog rounds, ate 2 bites of baked beans
Maggie: ate nothing
Charlie: ate nothing

Dinner: chicken nuggets and peas
Will: ate 1 nugget, 1/4 cup of peas and 1 peach, handful of raisins, and 6 dried apricots
Mary: ate 4 nuggets, 1/4 cup of peas, 2 peaches, and tried a tomato slice
Maggie: ate 1 chicken nugget with much dismay and lots of ketchup
Charlie: ate 1 chicken nugget

Maggie commented after her shower, "I think if we have chicken again I will like it. But please can I not have the peas?"

I promised that if everyone eats 1 complete meal, any meal, then we will go to the local Mexican restaurant that serves cheese quesadilas and lobster enchiladas. This and the announcement that we will be going to Pizza Hut on Friday for supper have caused much excitement.

I'm rooting for them as much as the next guy, in fact, I can almost taste that lobster.


Imigrante said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FosterAbba said...

As I commented on your previous post, I think the approach you need to take is one that is much more heartless.

First off, stop buying all chips, junk food and snacks. Don't be dramatic and throw everything out, just when it runs out be sure not to buy anything more.

Then, when you serve dinner, place amounts of each food that you think is reasonable for each child to eat. Serve in the kitchen, not at the table, so that they can't grab seconds and thirds of mashed potatoes before they eat their veggies and meat.

Be firm, polite, and resolute.

When a kid gets hungry enough, they'll eat. Nobody ever starved to death from missing a single meal or two.

The worst thing that will happen to your kids is they will get really hungry for a while. You can make your role in this more effective by being kind and sympathetic, but not offering snacks or food alternatives between meals.

scmom said...

You may have just found a technique that works -- rewards!

kat said...

That IS what I am doing. It is ruthless. Poor Maggie has had 1 chicken nugget and 3 cups of milk since SUNDAY afternoon. And she still refuses to try normal foods like oatmeal, scrambled or fried egg, hamburger... There are no snacks, no drinks other than water, I even instructed the sailing instructor not to give them snacks or juice.
Eventually they will eat, in the meantime its Flinstone vitamins.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

It looks like they are starting to eat, at least! Hope you had a better night than the first night.

And I am rooting for them, too. Just one whole meal. C'mon kids--Mom wants quesadillas!

Someday, they will be older and hungry absolutely all the time! And this will be a memory of holding out for success.

Fosterabba is right. They won't starve to death and thank goodness for Flintstones vitamins!