"Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare."
~Ed Asner

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Fried Worms and Fish Guts

I am a bad Momma.  I made my children do something terrible.  It's unspeakable.  The horror of it all.  Some would be in shock that a Momma would do such a torturous, abhorrent, unthinkable thing.  I made my children *gasp* sit at the dinner table even after they refused to eat the food that was placed in front of them.  Izzie said, "I don't like this."  Noah just sat there and played with it.  What's wrong with fried worms and fish guts?  Their a delicacy in some countries.  I'm kidding of course.  I made chicken pot pie.  What's not to love?  Chicken and flaky biscuit; green beans, corn and cauliflower; and a rich, creamy sauce to hold it all together as it bakes into deliciousness.  Kris loved it.  I thought at least Noah would like it, but he's starting to get more picky about things.  I think some of it has to do with his teething and such, but in any case, it's not like him and I hope it doesn't last long.  To be honest I didn't expect much from Izzie but I'm starting to be more firm about her at least trying new things.  I keep telling her she's going to turn into a giant noodle or a big glob of peanut butter if that's all she eats.  Tonight I tried a different approach.  I told her that if she didn't eat she would get smaller, which is true.  I told her that she would keep getting smaller and eventually she would get so small that she would just disappear.  Okay, maybe not so much true, but what would you or what have you said to get your children to do something that is for their own benefit.  I hardly think what I said will scar her for life.  In any case she looked at me and said, "I don't want to disappear."  She picked up a bite of biscuit with her spoon, smelled it, licked it and after contemplating for five minutes whether or not this tiny bite of biscuit was going to be the end of her, she put in her mouth and ate it.  Victory!  Sweet Victory!  Even if it was short lived.  That was the only bite I could get her to eat, which was more that Noah ate.

What happened next involved patience, grace, beastly screams, protesting shouts of NO, flailing arms and hands slapping the table out of frustration.  I would not budge.  I made them both sit at the table for twenty minutes.  That may seem unfairly long, but we've worked our way up to that amount of time.  Refusal to eat after twenty minutes meant they could leave the table, but with empty bellies.  I don't get mad.  I don't throw myself on the floor and flail my arms and legs.  I don't put them in a time-out.  They simply don't get anything else to eat until they're willing to eat at least a few bites of their dinner.  They also only get water to drink if they're thirsty.  I don't think this is cruel.  If they eat a few bites of their dinner and decide they still don't like it, then I give them something else healthy to eat.  I am determined to raise my children with healthy eating habits.  For some parents, this is easy.  For others, it can be a challenge.  But never it is never impossible.  I have to remind myself that I am not the only one with a picky child who refuses to eat anything good for them and that my children will not starve.  Hunger is a very powerful motivator.  Right now, the kids are playing in the living room.  We'll see what happens when the kids tell me they're hungry.  They're dinner is patiently waiting for them in the fridge. 

In other news, our garden is coming along beautifully.  Every day Izzie waters her sunflowers and herbs and I love seeing the joy on her face as she watches them grow.  The snap peas are also starting to come up.  Growing my own garden is a great way to help the kiddos develop healthy eating habits.  I involve Izzie as much as I can with the garden and I'm hoping that she'll want to try the things she's growing, except the sunflowers of course:) 

Keep The Peace

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