Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sing a little song, do a little dance . . .

The lengths I have to go to to get Finn to eat! Lately I find myself putting on a full show for him - I sing every song in my repertoir from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to The Itsy Bitsy Spider, right on down the line to the Slinky song ("It walks down stairs, alone and in pairs . . ." come on, sing it with me!) and the Oscar Mayer song (yes, I'm a child of the '70s). I tell jokes. I make funny faces. Anything to distract him from the fact that I'm actually attempting to put nourishment into his body, god forbid.

What is it with kids? Mine have all gone through this anti-food stage. When Kevin was little, we went through a very looooong period when there were exactly two things he would eat: chicken and cheese. So we did the only moral thing we could think of: we lied to him about everything we fed him. Everything was chicken: chicken steak, chicken pork chops, chicken fish, and of course, the ever popular chicken chicken.

And it's really no better now. They only get more sophisticated in their dislike of food as they get older. It's no wonder I hate cooking. There's no appreciation, no oohhing and aahhing over the fruits of my labors. Only the same statements every night: "I don't like that." "I'm not eating that." "Ewww!"

I have a thing about family dinner time. Most nights we sit down as a family and eat dinner together. It's important, a time of coming together, connecting, of listening and being heard. In theory, anyway. But every night, I get the interrogation as I'm cooking: "What's for dinner?" "What kind of chicken?" "What's with the chicken?" "I don't like that." "I want something else." "I'm not eating that." And then we sit down, and there's coaxing from me and Michael. Sometimes bribery is involved. Often threats. Always tears.

Maybe what we need to do is stop calling meals in our house breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and refer to all foods as "Snacks." They love snacks. They want snacks all the time. Think I could pass off meatloaf and mashed potatoes as a snack? Ha!

Well, at least all Finn requires right now is a little singing and dancing.

5 comments:

Keri said...

OK, I have a theory about the food preferences. From a developmental aspect- maybe kids who prefer to eat THIS and only THIS are supplying some nutrient their body needs. Every kid I've ever babysat has gone through a "chicken and cheese" phase at some point between 2 and 5 years.

Second, have you tried an "eat 5" rule? My parents used to make 2 vegetables every night with dinner. They didn't care which vegetable we had, but we had to have at least 5 bites of vegetables. My middle brother pushed it- he'd eat 5 peas or 5 kernels of corn. My parents never challenged him on it as long as he ate at least 5. At nearly 30, he still takes minuscule portions of vegetables, but as my mother says- at least he eats them!

Leigh Anne said...

i have to dip any kind of meat in bbq sauce, ranch dressing, or cream cheese so that sydney will eat it. lol. it's always a "what can i dip this in so she'll eat it?" question around here...

Carla said...

So, if you're singing and dancing is your heart rate up...can you consider it exercise as well?! ;-)

ashamom said...

Yes! That's what I hate about cooking! Wondering how many people will eat given food without complaining. The only thing they will eat without whining is spaghetti and homemade meatballs...which take forever to make...
LOL about chicken steak!!! ROFL!

I call roast steak- ha!

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Joaquin will only eat if I'm reading him a book. Try spooning baby food and flipping pages at the same time :)! CRAZY!! Anyway, we do what we have to do, right?