I have a wonderful 4 year old who’s eating habits have been a real concern for my husband and I for about two years now.
Problem one: Kid A ate everything as a baby, big appetite, loved food. Then, at around 17 months old she started to slowly reject foods put in front of her, a little less of this, a lot less of that, slowly she whittled down her menu to a handful of food choices and refused, on pain of death, to touch any other food to her lips!
A has recently turned 4 and her diet is as follows.
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Chicken, in the shape of a dinosaur, breaded.
Hot dogs (brand specific)
(and thank goodness), almost all raw vegetables
and pumpkin pie.
I’d like to think that I was missing something, but sadly, no.
We have spent uncharted amounts of time trying to expand A‘s menu, we have attempted to bribe, cajole, threaten, plead, ignore and then start all over again.
Problem two: Time at the table. Up until now I have watched my husbands patience boil day after day over the speed at which his eldest daughter eats. Average meal time for 4 pieces of “Dino chicken” and one serving of veg. =45mins.
It drives me nuts too, however I’ve been watching this for over a year now, three meals a day. Unless chocolate is involved, meal time for A is glacial.
Child B on the other hand eats three times the amount in a third of the time and has no desire to sit and watch A chew red pepper pieces to water before taking another bite. I will occaisonally leave A to it, walk away complety to get something done with the understanding that she’ll still be there happily munching, but it definatly takes even longer when I’m not there.
Current record: 1hour and 20 minutes to consume a grilled cheese (minus crusts)
So, I have decided that in light of my attempts to lighten my life, of stuff, of wieght, and of stress, I am going to stop being concerned for my daughters food related oddities and embrace them as my own.
Now Kiddo, I’m not a big fan of Dino chicken and the thought of chewing anything for 5 minutes makes me a little queasy, but the principles are sound and wise, my young padawan learner.
This whole family could do less fussing over meals times, we could stand to repeat meals more often so I could make doubles and freeze them, we could even have a family grilled cheese night once every week (or two), and slow down considerably at the dinner table without sighs, and impatient ticks in the direction or the TV.
Every once in a while it pays to take a different look at the things that drive you crazy, especially when they’re related to your kids.