Sunday, May 25, 2008

food wars: return of the mommy

OK. So time and space have a way of making things seem better. You could probably tell that I was rather irritated when I wrote my last post. (Sort of the "Dear Diary" syndrome creeping back into my writing.)
After a date night (Hark! We actually hired a sitter! Sound the bells! Cue the Heavenly chorus!) and a dose of John Rosemond, I have a new plan for dealing with Sister's picky eating.
1. I will not get mad. I will not get mad. I will not get mad. (If I say it enough times, maybe I will actually believe myself.)
2. I will serve three meals and two snacks per day. They will all be healthy foods. I will (somewhat) cater to her likes/dislikes at breakfast and lunch. Supper is what it is. I will plan these meals and snacks carefully so I don't resort to "Oh, gee. I don't know what to serve. How about some Ritz Crackers with a side of fruit roll-ups?"
3. I will put a very small portion of everything I have prepared on her plate. She can eat what she wants to eat. She will not get seconds of anything until her plate is clean. If she chooses not to eat, I will NOT GET MAD and will cover her plate and put it in the fridge. If she gets hungry before the next meal, I will simply pull the plate out of the fridge and put it on the table.
4. No dessert, sweets, or treats unless she eats all of her lunch/ dinner.
5. There will be no bribery, cajoling, etc. DH and I will not demonstrate in elaborate form how much we LOVE our vegetables. We will eat like normal people and will have normal conversation.
6. There will be zero tolerance for rudeness at the table (pushing food away, sulking, making gagging noises, etc.) If you do that you leave the table and go to the place where naughty children go.

DH and I are going to sit Sister down later and explain these new "house rules" in clear terms. Then it's in effect. I'll keep you posted.

I will not get mad. (One more time for good measure.)


Jessica B. said...

"the place where naughty children go" sounds scary.

Maybe not as scary as vegetables, but still scary :)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Sounds very similar to what we do, and it's worked (so far).

If it's any consolation, I think kids hit a really picky food stage between 2 and 5 (roughly), and from what I hear, it does get better after that. We've already seen a huge difference in my daughter (who's 6.5) this year. She's eating a lot of different foods again.

Although I'm sure some of it is just that we stayed cooly consistent about our rules. This is dinner. You eat it or you don't get anything else until morning.

(And for what it's worth, our son who's 4 eats dinner about once a week because he doesn't want the food most nights! But oh well. I don't stress about it. He'll come around eventually.)

Beck said...

Okay, this is VERY inspirational. As soon as we're all better, I'm following your lead.

Bethany said...

We had to deal with this some time back and will likely again in the future since I still have a little one as well.

My husband and I send the kids from the table if they are rude. They must not say "gross" or make gagging noises, etc. We learned the hard way that if they do that at home they will do it when we go to the pastor's house to eat. Oh the shame.

We also insist that that eat most of each item on their plate. If they eat with a good attitude we don't make them clean the plate. We also serve them smaller portions of things they don't like when they've shown good attitudes at meals.

We also plan breakfast and lunch around what they like (reasonalbly - no chicken nuggets eight days in a row!) but dinner is for the adults! :)

Your list sounds very good. I'm sure you will be able to pull it off!