Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eating Dilemmas

Oh, how I wish I would eat the way my children eat! Perhaps then I wouldn’t have to worry about diets. But, why, oh why, is eating so difficult for a three year old and a one year old?! And, why does it bother parents so much?

The oldest child:
Preston is three and enjoys dinner time. He enjoys the way we chit-chat at the table discussing our days. He’ll tell us about WeeSchool, about his activities, teacher, friends, what he learned, what he is going to learn, what his sister did today, what they did on the playground, what he did after daddy picked them up, how much he likes to drink chocolate milk…the list goes on and on. Eating, though, is just the activity to avoid while at the dinner table. 

We beg him to eat –
“Take a bite, Preston.”
“Preston, please take a bite.”
“1…2…3…TAKE A BITE!” And he finally will. His chit-chat continues.

Moments later –
“Preston, take a bite.” 
“Seriously, Preston, stop talking and take bite!”
“If we have to tell you again to eat, you’re not getting dessert.” 

Why is every night a battle at the dinner table? My husband, Josh, and I have discussed what to do and how to change his mind about eating. We want Preston to always remember dinner time as a fun time that we all discussed our days and shared what was happening in our lives. I don’t want him to remember it as a time that we continually begged him to stop talking and eat.

The youngest child:
Emory is now one and enjoys dinner time as well. She generally eats what we do and is a good eater as long as it’s not a vegetable. If something green comes near her mouth, she will accept it and spit it right back out with a smile on her face! 

We have tried all types of vegetables. I tried giving her beets with no luck there, either. I even hid the beet in a strawberry. She quickly separated the two in her mouth, and handed me back the beet as if to say, “No thanks, Mama. I told you I don’t like it!”

Children and eating, oh the dilemmas! I know it’s just a phase, but please tell me there are some tried and true ways out there to get children to eat! 

Julie Swink is a Sr. Marketing Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Mom of two.

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