dinnertime/breakfast time woes

Suppertime is such a performance sometimes. Why is it so hard to get kids to eat their supper? Last winter I started cooking all these fun meals out of these healthy living cookbooks. There was pasta, cheese, cooked spinach (I love spinach in foods), stir fries, fun burgers, etc. The kids would see a hint of green and spend the next twenty minutes moaning and choking it down.

That's the older two. The younger two wouldn't even pretend to try.

Eventually I kind of gave up and went back to the regular five dinners that I remake over and over and over and just made sure to serve them with salads and veggies.

Jordan eats. Tennyson whines about not liking noodles, potatoes or vegetables but usually we can bully him into eating his dinner. Who doesn't like any side that goes with beef or chicken? Seriously? Not liking pasta? Or potatoes? Or rice unless it's floating in sweet and sour sauce? Good grief. I'm so glad that their pickiness is so individual to each child. That makes it even more fun.

Mitchell and Elliot are the worst. Elliot just won't eat. She'll sit at the table and either holler and squeal, or she'll sit quietly and cram her entire meal into her milk cup. That's fantastic.

Mitchell sits and just won't eat. He'll pick a little at the edges of the potatoes, maybe, and every once in a while he'll eat a meatball or some chicken. Most nights I think he just slides his food around his plate for twenty minutes to make it look like something happened in his plate and then he'll go when Jordan and Tennyson go and then just hold out for breakfast. Because if there's something the two youngest minions love it's the milky carby goodness of most breakfast meals. Sigh.

Last night I made chicken parm with salad and whole wheat rotini. Of course, Jordan liked it and Tennyson whined about having to eat his noodles.

Elliot, surprisingly, ate some chicken and noodles. I tried not to look at her, because I don't want to remind her that by eating her dinner she was making Mommy happy. I think part of it is trying to have me sent to the mental so that when Daddy goes to work every day they can go to daycare. Jordan begs every once in a while to go to daycare. I don't think it's because she doesn't like me, it's more because some of the kids at school get to stay and go to the after school program. Who wouldn't be jealous of more school?

Mitchell ate a few bites of chicken, for which I was happy. He then dug in his heels and went on and on and on (etc.) about how yucky the noodles were. He refused to eat them. I told him that if he didn't eat them he was getting them for breakfast. I think I followed that by "If you don't eat that you won't eat anything else forever and ever until you eat it."

I'm seriously nice.

He moaned and groaned and eventually ditched us. The noodles went into a container in the fridge. This morning he gets up and gets dressed, excited for his carby, milky breakfast only to get to the table (where the other kids are eating rice krispies) and be served his chicken parm from last night.

He gave them a shove and sat with his chin down, his arms crossed and the most beautifully perfect look of loathing on his face. I told him he wasn't getting rice krispies until he ate his supper.

Whining.

I told him that he could go then, and wouldn't be getting any breakfast. Little bugger gets up to leave.

I sigh and tell him to sit back down because he's calling my bluff. I hate when they do that! I'm most certainly not taking him to the library program hungry. Then he'll tell all the stepford mommies that his mommy didn't feed him today.

Tennyson got out his best "I'm talking to my baby brother" voice and managed to feed Mitchell a few bites of his noodles. Then he shoved them away again and resumed the chin down, arms crossed, look of loathing position.

The other kids left. I ate my breakfast. I checked facebook. Still loathing me from across the table. I tell him to take a bite. He puts one noodle in his mouth. He cries and makes yucky faces as though he's eating something from a Survivor challenge.

Shove.

I scoop up a spoonful of noodles. I hold it out. More whimpering. A little tear. The kid's a pro.

I count to three. He reluctantly opens his mouth at " . . . two . . . and . . . thrrrr" (I really don't want to spank him). I stick the bite in his mouth. He holds his mouth open like there are bugs in there and cries. I tell him to knock it off. He eventually eats it. He eats a bite or two more, and then is down to two bites. He eats the second last bite. Eats? I mean suffers through.

What kind of horrible mommy makes her child eat cheesy, saucy noodles? I know. Dial up CFS people.

Finally he has only one bite left. I fork it it. Two seconds later I look over and he's making the pukey face and genuinely retching. "Mitchell! Stop it! Don't you dare puke that up!" I snap. He's beyond the point of return. I hold out the bowl his noodles had been in. He leans forward and spits out the food, tears escaping from his eyes.

(For the record, the kid was born with tears - I swear. He is not really that tortured)

At this point he ate all but the one bite, and I wasn't about to force him to re-chew that last bite so I gave him his dang rice krispies.

The drama is so frustrating sometimes.

Comments

Q&L said…
You know how when they're babies and toddlers they talk about kids eating majority of their daily food intake b/w breakfast and lunch, so they encourage you to feed them lots of good stuff in those meals? do you think that carries into ages 3-6?? I don't know, I know they can get pretty manipulative and its all about being consistent, not giving in, which you try to do! :)
Anonymous said…
Have you ever considered that he may really have a sensory integration issue that makes him averse to the texture(s)?
Tiffany said…
That would suck! Although, it wouldn't surprise me I suppose. He did get all gaggy over it at the end.

Who knew this job wouldn't be all sunshine and roses??
Patkau Life said…
I do that on a regular basis. Not so much with my daughter...but my son is bad... BAD. he fights supper meals at least twice a week and until lately has eaten supper for breakfast about once a week. he has gotten the hint and only eats supper for breakfast now only like once every 3 weeks or so.
My point in doing it is to get him to still taste it...he might change his mind. and like it.

sounds like if you are a mean mom soo am I. :)
Pamela said…
oh man! I totally remember those days...as someone who is just a smidgen ahead of you.. this too shall pass. My oldest, who is now 14, practically lived on peanut butter and crackers because she wouldn't eat ANYTHING. No amount of pleading or prodding would change her mind. I chose to not make mealtime a power struggle and to make other battles of higher value than what she ate and eventually she became more adventurous. She is still not crazy about ground beef, (but will eat ground turkey), and she does have some foods that she still won't eat, but we have moved past the stage you are in. Hang on and you will get there too!
Candice said…
Although it may not have been fun at the time, it makes for a fantastic blog story!!

I love you.

Also, I find it incredibly amusing that someone hid behind 'anonymous' to suggest you may be in the wrong. I'm sorry, I shouldn't be laughing out loud over that...
Tiffany said…
It's okay, LOL away! If it's not a little entertaining then all it is is a boring story of yet another picky eater.

I'm glad (not for you, but for my own mental health) that I'm not the only one out there with this kid! It's nice to know that he won't just stop growing and stay this size forever.
Ange said…
He's most definitely not the only one out there. Aaron is so picky and suppertime is pretty much a daily battle! (unless of course we are eating breakfast or pizza)

Great story! Maybe you should be the author of my blog too! :)

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