Sally over at Tip of the Iceberg recently asked if the kids really eat what I make. As I started responding to her comment, I realized that it was long enough to be a post and so maybe I should do that instead. And that’s when the trouble began.
After writing about 10 pages on the subject, I started to wonder what happened to my ability to summarize things. It’s a yes or no question, Tammy. Do the kids eat your food or not? Well….um…you see…HOLY CRAP, what’s that thing over there? That thing that flew behind the other thing?
It’s been three weeks and I have yet to write a coherent post about it, and certainly not an entertaining one. But the subject of feeding young children keeps coming up, so I might as well come clean lest you think that the kids, in their freshly pressed knickers, arrive in the kitchen proclaiming, “Eggplant again, Mother? Why, I’d be delighted!”
My mealtime philosophy is a mix of tough love, common sense, bribery, and, most importantly, stubbornness. My own. For if you have stubborn children, there’s a 50% chance they got it from you, and now’s your chance to show them how it’s really done.
Our Dinnertime Rules are as follows:
- We all sit down together and eat the same thing.*
- If you eat all your dinner, you get to have dessert.**
- You don’t have to eat all your dinner, but you’re not getting anything else until breakfast.***
- You do have to eat one bite of everything on your plate to be excused.****
*If you think I’ve never broken down and thrown frozen French fries and Gorton's delicious fish tenders (regular batter) into the toaster oven, then you’re crazy. I have. More than once. I’m not a robot. But by and large, we eat the same stuff.
**“All your dinner” sometimes morphs into “most of your dinner” which then seems to morph into “only two bites” after a while. I don’t know how this happens, but I suspect Husband is involved.
***Seriously, though, why would you eat your squash if you know you can have a bowl of your favorite cereal right before bed instead? (Mmmmm, GoLean Crunch!!!)
**** Ask yourself what your threshold is for torture before you attempt this. Your kids will make you pay. Luckily, I’m a glutton for punishment.
Did you notice how I didn’t answer the original question? I’ll be writing several more exciting posts on the topic this month, plus an honest update on how it’s all been working out. If you have any specific questions, leave them in the comment section and I’ll try to address them. Please keep in mind that I’m not a nutritionist or any kind of expert on anything really. This all falls under the realm of “opinion.” Still, I have some pretty strong opinions about it because I love food and I want my kids to love food, too. YOU WILL LOVE FOOD, DAMNIT.