Friday, August 15, 2008

Healthy Eater 101

K is a horrible eater. Has been since she was a toddler. Now, at 6, she eats NO vegetables, and NO fruits. Seriously. She eats baby food banana/mixed berries and she eats applesauce, but that is it. She also eats no meats. Chicken nuggets only. No hamburger, no hot dogs, no grilled chicken or chicken in any form other than nugget, no red meat, no pork, no turkey or other poultry. She is pretty much surviving on dairy (yogurt, cheese) and grains (bread, bagels, cereal, pasta). She will eat peanuts and cashews to help with protein and she likes quiche (with cheese only, of course).

B, at 4, is a much better eater. She loves all fruits, many veggies, but is also bad on proteins. She will eat chicken nuggets and grilled chicken pieces - but that is about it. She also like nuts, but does no like eggs. Worse, K has started to wear off on her and she is getting picky.

Big Man eats everything and lots of it (he moved up to the 20% at his 2-year checkup - yay!).

This is something I have wanted to work on for a while, but just haven't had the will. A few weeks ago, the straw broke the camels back. I had taken the girls berry picking and we made a beautiful strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry pie. It smelled soooo good. B eats all these berries and LOVES them. She also like bread. So pie should be right up her alley. I knew K would scoff at it. When it had cooled and I cut a slice for B, she refused to even taste it. I was so angry. I actually left the room and went upstairs so I didn't just kill them. When I came down I was still really pissed. I basically told them that I had had it. They were not going to continue to eat like they were and when I got back from vacation we would all eat as a family. Whatever mommy (or daddy) cooked for dinner was IT. Nothing else unless you clear your plate, and no snacks when they come home from school (they get a snack at school at 4pm).

This week we started it. And what a joy it has been. Monday I played it easy on them - homemade chicken strips and McDonalds french fries. I actually went to Mickey Ds and bought the fries. Big Man gobbled it all up and wanted more. K and B sobbed to the point of hysteria all through dinner. DH decided that they could not leave the table until they had finished their plates. They had about 4-5 small pieces of chicken. K finally finished around 8:15 (15 minutes past bedtime). B didn't finish until nearly 9:15, after I had coated each piece in grated cheese.

Tuesday we had pork tenderloin with rice and green beans. The rule was you could leave the table after you had tried a bite of everything on your plate, but no more food unless you finished your dinner. This got all three of them screaming crying. Big Man liked the rice and green beans, but the pork was too much chewing for him. He had two pieces, and cried when I wouldn't give him yogurt. I could not get him to understand he had to eat the other two first. But I didn't want to break the rules in front of the girls. K and B again had sobbing crying fits. B eventually ate enough to get a cheese stick. K ate one piece and was done.

Tonight we are having chicken Marsala with pasta. Should be lovely. I think we are in for a few weeks of this, but I am hopeful we will someday have our nice, pleasant dinners. At the very least, I think I am going to need a nightly glass of wine with dinner to get through all the tantrums!


Happy Working Mom said...

Good luck! I know kids and meals can be so difficult. My kids got in the habit of saying they were done and then getting a snack (because that's what hubby does, only he eats all the food first). So now we have no snacks after dinner unless they eat everything on their plate. It's been working pretty well!

Dan & Duffy said...

Good luck! I love your chicken marsala - I hope the girls love it soon too.

Dave Faris said...

I witnessed my brother having the exact same power struggle with my nephew this past weekend. The kid turns his nose up at what his mom makes dinner, but is hungry a few hours later and is only willing to eat his favorites (hot dogs).

Not sure if this is helpful, but the Mayo Clinic has a page on their website that might give you some help.

pixie4bears said...

You go Girl! Show them how to eat. Too many parents these days let their kids eat whatever they want and there they are making 3 different meals to please everyone. I know you can do it..and enjoy that glass of wine :)