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    The new world order

    You know what sucks? Tantrums. You know what sucks even more? Tantrums right before dinner. Or during dinner. Why? Because getting a cooperative kid eating, even when their favorite food is sitting at the table, just doesn’t happen when you have to put them in a timeout for hitting (during said tantrum).

    I’m SO over it. Done!!!

    I’ve been paranoid about G’s food consumption because he’s small and had given us a hard time about eating since he was an infant. However, I now realize that succumbing to his picky-ness just so that he would eat ‘something’ is not helping any of us out. It’s not enriching his palate, he’s not getting his nutritional needs met (when I offer him oatmeal 3 nights in a row to appease him), and his food consumption isn’t much different if he eats a miniscule sample of his requested item vs. what the rest of us eat. S and I not in control of our house at mealtime.

    And I’m done with it.

    So… new rules: food is placed on table. You are given a heads up it’s about to be served. You are given a notification when it is served. You are either there to eat it or you’re not. There are no special invitations or pleads. There are no special meals (unless you are under 18m, due to illness have different needs, or we are dining out). At a friend’s home, kids will eat what is prepared for kids, if done special. When the adults are done eating, and the baby is fed all plates leave the table, finished or unfinished. Exceptions are made if someone is still actively eating. Leaving the dining room table to return to play constitutes as being done with dinner. Treats (including toddler rice husk crackers) are available only after meal-time to those who have sufficiently eaten. Puffs are negotiable. Milk and water are the only things available on demand at any desired quantity. Past plates being taken away, meal-time concludes and there will be no make up meals until the next formal dining period. Snacks in between meals are just that. They will be provided only in snack-sized quantities.

    That’s it! Yes, I’m writing this angry, and I may make some revisions as necessary, but this is it. Pre-schoolers will not rule meal-time!!!


    … now… let’s see how long this lasts

    6 responses to “The new world order”

    1. Rebecca says:

      I don’t see you mad very often.

      I agree with you on this for the most part, but I will say that it wasn’t obvious that James had food allergies until he was almost 4. Up until that point I thought that all the things he wouldn’t eat were just him being picky. But it sounds like he was different in that he would eat a lot of food as long as we made sure that the right foods were available. Looking back though, a lot of his pickiness was him avoiding foods that made him feel bad. Now that we’re aware of his issues, he’s still very picky, even if I make him carefully allergy free food he often won’t try it or eats a tiny crumb and declares that he doesn’t like it. I have a hard time blaming him for this though, it seems to be a protective instinct, but it’s very frustrating. I wanted to make similar rules at some point when James was 2 or 3, but quickly gave in because he just would rather starve than eat some things, now I know why. So mostly I’m just saying good luck, but if you give in before he does, I can totally sympathize… Kids can be surprisingly stubborn.

      • avalikelava says:

        Yeah, the food allergy aspect is an interesting thought. I’m pretty sure that’s not it though, since I don’t see any difference in his behavior/body output/general well-being with one food over another. And the items he’s attracted to are the ones I would expect that he would be allergic to (ex: wheat-based oatmeal, he can down milk like no tomorrow…). What he’s refusing is more balanced meals w/ proteins and starches. He will eat broccoli, but on a whim. We also don’t have any food allergies in the family too to draw on, so I could be talking out of my rear. It’s an interesting thought though, and I’ll watch it.

    2. Chris Salcone says:

      I swear I could have written this verbatum! I have had the same frustrations with Luca. He ONLY wants to eat yogurt. His eating is complicated by his dairy allergy and diabetes. As much as I have wanted to institute a “eat what is served or go without” policy, I can’t let his blood sugar go low. He more often ends up getting his soy yogurt after throwing a fit which just teaches him that a tantrum will get him the results he wants. SO FRUSTRATING!

      I feel your pain. I’m eager to hear how your new policy works out….

      • avalikelava says:

        Oh geez, Chris, you are in trouble my friend. I’ve given in on having G’s growth rate be as is, but with Luca you have a real, dangerous condition to contend with. You are in a bad spot dude! Have you talked to a nutritionist to see how they would handle this situation?

    3. Stephanie C. says:

      Thats pretty much how things go at our house. I’m not sure if it helps, but it does make it easier on me. And its the only way he’ll learn, even if it takes a while.

    4. Becky (stinkylemsky) says:

      I think this is the way to go (frequent lurker here) – I loved the way it was put in the book “the blessing of a skinned knee”… it is your job to put food on the table, it is their job to eat. If they don’t eat – okay, there’s always next meal. Any time you make a power struggle out of it, you multiply the problem by 1,000!
      GL and let us know how it goes!

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