Today I opened up Yahoo to find the news article “6 Food Mistakes Parents Make” by Tara Parker-Pope (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/health/healthspecial2/15eat.html?no_interstitial) , and guess what number two was. Yup, forcing your kid to take a bite of something they wouldn’t eat any ways. Apparently this will back fire, and the child may end up hating the food. Probably to show some independence of “see you can’t make me.” Last night my dad said the same thing. I think it’s a sign.
As I mentioned in an earlier post about Picky Eaters, I am trying to tackle the challenge of Evan not trying any food by forcing him to eat one tiny, little bite. Results have been mixed. The first night after two hours, I forced in a sliver of spinach into his mouth and crammed the juice straw after it. The second night Evan took a bite of corn after fifteen minutes, and he declared it tasted like candy, which it should because it was sweet corn. The third night I left my husband in charge, and he just let Evan run off. The fourth night was almost three hours of whining, pleading, crying, and sulking. (Guess who did what.) He went to bed without eating anything but a slice of whole wheat baguette. The fault was partially mine for putting the whole meal together without more things Evan would eat. Finally last night, he ate a chicken leg, soy beans, a roll, and some watermelon, but he would not touch the potato salad.
After two hours of stalemate, I called for help. My dad explained it was a losing battle and I should back off. I told him he forced me to eat things. He countered that I was much older. Well, I don’t exactly remember my toddler years, so I guess I’ll have to believe him. And Evan did eat soy beans and watermelon. So it’s time to sound a retreat and regroup. Or not necessarily a retreat, just a fall back to evaluate the situation.
So I read the article, twice. The new plan is to pull out that stupid puree book. Ok, it’s not stupid; it’s just time consuming. Of course, I did figure out you could easily use baby food instead of pureeing. The other problem is the meals are somewhat time consuming when you have a little toddler begging to be picked up, pushing you from the counter, trying to turn your legs. (Yes, Sean actually grabs on to my legs and tries to turn them around. He’s surprisingly strong.) When your husband isn’t home to help manage the kids (or he got sucked into a rerun of a Superbowl from twelve years ago), it’s a little hard to fry chicken or bake a lasagna.
The other part of the plan is to really put out the vegetables. Three or four, instead of one or two. I’ll put out more than just raisins at lunch time. I’ll start trying berries with the banana and watermelon at breakfast. I’ll have to figure out a new fruit because summer is almost over. Evan LOVES watermelon. I’ve got to replace it with something. The hope is he may just be curious enough to try something as long as I’m eating it.
The last mistake in the article was parents giving up too soon. Well, that’s not me. I’m pretty stubborn, more stubborn than my mom and my husband give me credit for. I will not raise a picky child. I will not raise a picky child. I will not raise a picky child.
I really hope I don’t eat my words.