Monday, January 25, 2010


It's been awhile since my last blog. It's not like I haven't had things to write about or things I wanted to say. I mean, I could have blogged about how the Vikings ripped my heart out and squashed it yesterday, but I didn't feel like it. It's just...well, I think I am feeling a little creatively tired or something. So many days I have thought about blogging and have just felt too darn tired to spend the energy. It's not like I really even have anything big going on to make me extra might be because I have stayed up really late a lot of nights lately and I am not used to that. Whatever the reason, I am just tired.

However, what brings me back to blogging today is that I need some parental advice. Tryn won't eat dinner. She loves breakfast foods and will always eat a good breakfast, she usually likes lunch foods and will usually eat lunch, but I am starting to hate dinnertime.

I am a parent who refuses to make separate meals for my kids. Unless what I am making is too spicy, it's what my kids will eat too, at least some version of it. Obviously if I make tacos with shells, I give the kids tortillas or make quesadillas because they can't manage shells. If I am making a dish with a lot of flavor I will sometimes take out meat or whatever for them before I put in all the flavors, if I think it will be too much for them. So I often will cater part of what I am making to fit their needs, but I don't make them mac 'n cheese if we are having chicken and rice. Also, I definitely don't believe in giving them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if they don't want what we are having for dinner, especially since they have that almost everyday for lunch anyway.

The problem is that I have a child that most of the time will just not eat her dinner without some sort of fight. The most frustrating thing is that sometimes she will eat one thing fine one day, and the next time I make it she will treat it like it is filled with poison. She will only eat the most bland or boring things and she will not eat vegetables at all. We have tried bribing, we have tried setting a timer and telling her that she has to eat everything within a certain amount of time (which sometimes works, but not always), we have tried "you only have to take this many more bites", we have tried time outs, we have tried putting her dinner on the counter and only offering her that if she says she is hungry later. It feels like we have tried everything.

The other day she was playing with her water instead of eating and spilled it all over her plate so I took her food and dumped it in the sink and told her she wouldn't get any dinner. After she got over the initial shock, it didn't seem to phase her at all. She didn't even care that she didn't get anything to eat the rest of the night. *Sigh*

This is every single dinnertime. Even sometimes when we make her most favorite things, like mac 'n cheese, she still won't eat them. Today during lunch Berlin was eating and talking to herself and she started to say, in the most stern voice she could manage, "Take a bite!" It was funny coming from her adorable barely passing as stern little voice. But it made me realize how popular that phrase has become around our house. Especially since I made grilled cheese for lunch today instead of pb&j and had the same scene that we do at dinner. Seriously, over grilled cheese. Which she normally loves.

Any tips for us to try?


Kayla said...

I have the same problem! Except Gabe is much younger and can't use his words so I have no idea if he flat out doesn't like it or if he is just being stubborn. Lately I have kind of realized that he sometimes just isn't that hungry when dinner comes along because he had a snack too late, so if he wakes up late from his nap he either doesn't get a snack or only gets a little bit.

If he still doesn't eat we either do two things. If I know it's something he absolutely hates and I know that before hand, I usually make him something else like pb&j... but Gabe is also only 17 months and you can really force a 17 month old to eat something that makes them gag. Two, he has to sit there until everybody else is done and then if he gets hungry he gets whatever was for dinner.

Sometimes he gets really bratty and won't even take a bite and throws a fit, then we have used spankings because, well, we just don't put up with fits.

Good luck!

Leah said...

I do the same thing as you as far as modifying a meal if it's going to be too spicy or too difficult for them to eat. Honestly, I don't make my kids eat. If they don't want to then they don't have to and if they tell me they're still hungry they can have bread and butter. After supper, the kitchen is closed. I guess I don't want mealtime to be a chore for me or distasteful for them - haha, I made a pun :) Anyway, I figure their body knows what it needs (I've noticed that sometimes mealtime will be all about vegetables and other times not and it's meat they're interested instead) and as long as I'm not substituting junk food for good food, they'll get what they need eventually. I usually try to make something that would be more appealing the next day though. Well, that's my two cents . . . not sure if it's worth that though . . . :)

lhassler said...

Heidi, I was stressing about this some months back when our pediatrician reminded me that in toddlers it's only important that they get one good meal in four. Typically, she said, it's going to be breakfast. So that might not solve your disciplinary and obedience issues with dinner, but at least it might ease your mind about her getting enough.

Also, you know this, but toddlers are weird when it comes to food. What's a favorite one day just isn't the next day.

Lastly, You might just try NOT making it a fight. Put dinner in front of her when it's dinner time. Give her X amount of time and then call it done. When time is up, just tell her you're sorry she didn't want to eat her dinner, put it in the fridge and move on. If it's no longer a battle, she might just give up on thinking it is. I had to do this with Aurelia some months back and I was really surprised how she enjoyed eating once she realized it was her in control of the meal, instead of me. The hard part is staying with it day after day.