Saturday, March 16, 2013

Food fight

Battles over food are common with Emily.  She is going through the picky-eater stage and uses it as an opportunity to occasionally test boundaries.  Sometimes you have to pick your battles, and boy did we (I) pick one this time. 

I make salmon (or some other type of fish), rice and vegetables on a fairly regular basis (probably every other week).  The salmon is cooked and flavored in a variety of ways.  Emily always has to try some, but usually ends up mostly filling up on rice.  Friday night was no exception.  I had purposely given each kid only four tiny bites of salmon (that would really equal one large bite) and a few vegetables (Normandy blend tonight).  Emily was in a fiesty mood, though, with a bad attitude and a prolific mouth.  She quickly earned herself the task of eating ALL her salmon and ALL her vegetables before being allowed to leave.  She continued on and on until she found herself sitting alone at her art table in the toy room while the rest of us finished eating and cleaning up supper.  When Lincoln & I moved on to family game night and she was still at the table, this note was composed:

It was extremely difficult to keep a straight face while reading it.  I casually offered her two options: a) sit back down and finish the last two bites of food on her plate so she could join our game or b) go upstairs and wait in her room until bath time plus the remaining two bites would be waiting in the fridge first thing for breakfast in the morning.  She initially went back to her plate, but soon ran upstairs to wait for 20 min.

I was bracing for another big scene in the morning, but after adding a little more rice and warming up the bowl, Emily calmly ate everything without a word of complaint--even commenting that if you take a drink of milk as soon as you take a bite you can hardly taste anything. 

Score another one for mom.  I don't enjoy these battles, but I want her to be secure in knowing that I'm still the one in charge when she chooses to test the waters.  It's not about the food.  However, I'm starting to question the theory that if a child tries a food so many times they'll learn to like it...

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