02 April 2011

Good Eater's Club

Occasionally, this imperfect mommy has a moment of mommy perfection. A moment where I pat myself on the back and think that I might just be good at my job. Granted, that moment is usually fleeting, but I'll take it!

My two darling daughters have turned into quite the picky eaters. Its not that they eat unhealthy things or turn their noses up at any food that isn't white, they have just decided that it will be a fun game to make mommy guess what they like to eat at any given moment. This has proven to be quite a challenge for mommy as what they like to eat changes constantly.

I made homemade pizza for dinner the other night and LR informed me it was, "Blech!" She wouldn't even taste it. She just kept making a spitting noise anytime I offered it to her. For months, pizza has been her favorite food and she usually enjoys more than one slice of my homemade kind. Not today! One day she can't get enough string cheese and the next she refuses to eat even one bite. At lunch today, she might down three plates of macaroni and cheese and next week, she'll refuse it entirely.

EC isn't much better - she's simply decided that she'll fill herself up with milk and then complain that her belly hurts. When we refuse to let her drink milk until she eats something, she sits there whining that she wants something else. Again, it can be her favorite and she will refuse it simply to be disagreeable.

Our dinnertime has turned into a constant battle to get the kids to put food into their mouths. I've tried to let them pick what foods go on their plates, encouraged them to help make dinner or set the table, even offered them a choice between the main entree or fruit and yogurt. Some nights, nothing works. Until last night, I had an epiphany in the middle of dinner.

Instead of convincing EC that she had to eat her spaghetti, I simply told her that if she did, she could be in the Good Eater's Club. LR was already polishing off her dinner, so I inducted her and waited to see what EC's response would be. What do you know? She started eating. So, I added a little more incentive. Anyone inducted into the Good Eater's Club would get an extra story read to them at bedtime! That meant that instead of our usual two books - one for each girl - we could end up with four whole books! The food was practically flying into her mouth at this point.

And before we knew it - EC was holding up a nearly clean plate! Now, I know not to praise the clean plate too highly - I don't want them overeating for the sake of more reading at bedtime, but sometimes they just need a little push to actually put a bite or two in their mouth - a chance to remember that they do in fact like spaghetti or broccoli or string cheese. They really are pretty healthy eaters, if they would just remember that they actually like the food from one day to the next!

1 comment:

  1. That is a fabulous idea and I think it's cool that extra books at bedtime are exciting to the girls and it doesn't have to be food or presents! Good Mommy!!!