Ding ding ding ding! Wha-ooh, Wha-ooh. Sound the alarms. We have a winner!
When I became a parent, I never fathomed the amount of struggle I would incur that revolved around food. Eating. The mere act of ingesting food as to gain nutrients required for the body to function properly.
Maybe you don't understand. I don't know where this girl came from. She is the product of Tyler and I. Two people who quite enjoy eating and all things food-related. Hello... have you ever met me? I like food a little too much, really...
Now, I know she is three. I know that being picky is a rite of passage of sorts for toddlers. I just feel like her food issues have reached a whole new level. A pinnacle, of you will, of battles and tears and the like.
She eats breakfast well. She loves cereal with milk. She enjoys the occasional mini pancake or oatmeal square. On rare occasion, I can even get her to eat a (gasp) banana. We're cool with breakfast. The fact that it takes her 52 minutes to eat half a bowl of cereal... well, I will leave that for another post.
Then, there's lunch. I try very hard to switch things up and give the girls a variety of meal plans for lunch. I try to have fun with it. Some of the things I will make- peanut butter & jelly or Peanut butter & honey, macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, quesadillas, pizzas on tortillas or flat out bread, turkey & cheese roll-ups, tuna boats, hummus with pita & veggies, chicken nuggets, cubed up meat & cheese, various fresh fruits & veggies, raisins, black beans, chick peas, scrambled eggs, etc. The meal that I can typically get Sassy to successfully eat about half of- a peanut butter sandwich. Sometimes. On a good day.
She just won't eat.
However, here's where my issue arises. I know the old saying- no child will starve themselves. And, how true, how true. On an average of 4.3 minutes after finishing cleaning the kitchen after lunch, Sassy proclaims she is hungry. Famished. Starved. She cannot possibly wrap her little brain around the reason that Mommy becomes angry with her when she says this.
We've tried conventional. Oh, you're hungry? Well, let's see here... I think I set aside the sandwich you didn't quite
She wants crap. Cheeze Itz. Goldfish. Fruit Snacks. Candy. I mean, get real. Umm... no.
Oh, and don't even get me started on dinner. Dinner has become a miserable experience in the SPH, which is really too bad, considering Tyler and I pride ourselves on the fact that we take time to sit at the table as a family and eat together every evening.
I'm at a loss for what to do. The evening usually starts with Sassy asking what's for dinner, to which I reply with the appropriate answer. Thus begins a horrible tantrum-throwing debacle.
For example... the other night, I replied that we were having lasagna. I don't know that Sassy has ever had lasagna, but spaghetti is one of the few meals that she will
Immediately, she starts whining and sobbing and pleading with me. I don't want da-zanya Mommy. I don't like da-zanya! Please, please don't make me eat da-zanya!!!
Here I am, standing in place and questioning if I really just asked her to lick a block of arsenic or something. "Sweetie," I tell her, "Lasagna is a lot like spaghetti. It has noodles and lots of cheese. I think you will like it!"
But no. That's just the thing. Once her mind is made up... forget it. If she says she does not like lasagna, she won't eat the lasagna. And, if we make her take the no thank you bite, she will proceed to make herself gag and vomit all over her plate. Been there, done that. Every time. Never fails. So much for the magic of the no thank you bite.
I am at my wits end. I don't know what to do or how to react. I have tried so many different things- no thank you bites, making her a separate meal, not letting her have anything the rest of the day, giving her choices, having her help me shop for, prepare, and cook meals, letting her fill her own plate from choices on the table, ignoring her, giving in...
I am so worried about where this will take her in the future. I do not want to lead her down a path of disordered eating. I can't help but be concerned that she is not getting the proper nutrition... we call her ribsy, for goodness sake! I want her to have a full tummy and a nourished mind so that she can learn and grow and succeed...
Is that too much to ask?
C'mon Mommy Warriors... tell me like it is. What works for you? What should I be doing differently? Help a Mama out... I'm begging you!