food battles

we’re heading to seattle today for a fetal echocardiogram, an NST and a follow-up appointment with the perinatology department (i thought it was the neonatology department…. so now i’m confused!). we’ll share an update with you once we know the story and the game plan. but for now, back to "regular life."


we (dave and i) need some encouragement regarding parenting and FOOD issues…..


dave and i have been involved with some EPIC battles with davey regarding food. lunch and dinner, to be more specific. even if/when davey gets to CHOOSE what he wants, he won’t eat it. and the crying, screaming, back-talking, spitting and all other manner of sinful behavior ensues. and we’ve decided we’ve had enough. it’s time to end this charade. this kid does NOT get to win the battle of eating just b/c we’re both exhausted and too tired to fight with him about food each day/night. he is not the parent. 


so our plan is this: you don’t want to eat it now? fine. it’s not worth the battle to get you to eat a half a bite. but you will eat it later. for your snack. and if it’s still not gone after your snack, you’ll eat it heated up again for your dinner. and if you still haven’t finished it, it’ll be your breakfast tomorrow morning. and we’ll continue with that pattern until each plate of food is completely eaten. granted, we’re not opposed to adding more food to the plate each time (like adding green beans and/or chicken at dinner time to his leftover lunch plate of mac and cheese). but no crackers. no cookies. no snacks of any kind. 


AND NO MORE CHOCOLATE MILK. NONE AT ALL. none. not a drop. until now, we’ve let him have his fill b/c he needs the extra calories. but no more. not at this price. i’m really thinking the sugar in the chocolate is messing with his appetite. and i’m willing to go to crazy lengths right now to get him back on track. 


i’m the first person to admit that i was (and to a more mild extent, still am) an EXTREMELY picky eater, so i’m sensitive to the reality of his taste buds. but we’re not asking him to eat liver and onions. heck, we’re not even asking him to try everything we eat (not yet, at least). we’re simply trying to get him to eat (and preferably something OTHER than cereal). we have battles about him eating his favorite foods – mac&cheese, chicken nuggets/strips, etc. EPIC BATTLES. it’s ridiculous. 


what encouragement, advice or suggestions do you have to offer? we’d love to hear from you!

5 thoughts on “food battles

  1. Oh Tam I can SO sympathize! We’ve had food battles with Alex for a long time–since she was about 1, she’s just never seems to be hungry when it’s time to eat. I’ve waiting for the day when she would scarf down a plate of food at mealtime, but it hasn’t happened! But recently she’d been taking so long to eat–she would take 45 min. to eat if I let her. I also was getting so stressed and agitated at every meal and it was getting old. I sought out advice on some other blog forums, and the general consensus was, she gets a certain amount of time to eat (I decided to give her 10 min. after the last person was done–we set a timer), and if the food wasn’t finished, she didn’t get anything until the next meal. I didn’t go the route of reheating the food, but I just stuck to the fact that she got no snacks or anything in between. I’ve been able to relax a bit on it because she started doing better. Prior to trying this I would let her “snack” in between meals on healthy stuff (like letting her eather yogurt that she wouldn’t eat at lunch), but I think that kind of defeated the purpose because she was kind of getting what she wanted–she didn’t have to eat at mealtime but could eat whenever she asked. So the deal was, you eat your food or you get nothing until the next meal. And I agree that the chocolate milk needs to go (at least for now, or until after he eats a meal)–it’s full of sugar and empty calories! The dr always says, they will eat when they’re hungry–they won’t starve themselves! Good luck with this–I know what you’re going through! :)

  2. I agree – no chocolate milk or snacks. We have always had the rule that if you don’t eat your food you get nothing but water until the next meal time. My biggest battle comes during the months of nice weather when our girls play with the neighbor girls who snack all. day. long. They always want to share with my girls and of course my girls want it. When we get to the summer months and they’re playing together for hours on end when we’re home, then I have to make a rule that they can only have one snack in between meals. Davey may be testing things out a bit, knowing that Mom is down and out and the baby is coming. Stick with your plan so he knows things aren’t going to change, that Mom & Dad are the same people they’ve always been, that his world is still safe and normal. Give him lots of love and attention not related to eating or not eating food and this too shall pass. :)

  3. Wow, so glad to have read this blog! So far Jake isn’t really fighting us about this, (and of course since he refuses to talk, we don’t get any back talk – lol) But, at the same time we do seem to cave to whatever his whims are and don’t do a good job about reinforcing what is on his plate. These are all really great comments – much better than what you see from parenting! Thanks all! And good luck Tam, you’re definitely doing the right thing!

  4. well, we haven’t had any epic battles over food yet but i have noticed that if ari isn’t eating too great and i offer her something new, she’ll usually scarf it down. i think she just gets bored w/ the same old stuff – duh! who wouldn’t? and you might be surprised at what he will eat if you offer it to him…i was shocked to discover that ari loves mu shoo pork! :) i really thought she’d spit it back out. anyway, those are just a few thoughts – hope it goes well! it might take a little time but as someone else commented, i’m pretty sure he won’t starve himself. :)

  5. I agree, you are doing the right thing. We’ve done the whole “heat it ’til they eat it” thing too, and it worked. Is Davey pretty strong willed? It might take awhile. You could start each meal giving him a choice-”PB&J or cheese quesadillas” so that he feels like he has some power, but then make sure you follow through, and are consistent! And make every calorie count at snack time- give him healthy stuff, and save sweets for after dinner, if he has eaten well all day. We also have a rule, now that our kids are older, that after a certain amount they can be done eating if they really don’t like a meal, but no dessert unless they finish completely. Sometimes its enough to motivate, sometimes it’s not worth it to them and they just get up.

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