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Your job: put healthy food in front of them

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 Leave a Comment

Last night we had our first and last dinnertime showdown.

Taco night. My 5 year old wanted a plain taco shell. No meat, no cheese, no lettuce, no nothing.

"Try it, you might like it."

"No. I hate it."

I don't know how, but quickly things escalated to, "You will sit in this chair until you take one bite."

The moment I uttered the words, I knew it was a mistake. It was not about food, but about a battle of wills, and my boy is stubborn. A howling temper tantrum ensued.

Eventually, he did take a bite, liked it, and we put his plate in the dishwasher.

Later, at the park, a neighborhood mom gave me some wise advice: You can't make them eat, and if you try, you're only teaching them how to be bull-headed. Your job is to put healthy food in front of them.

It was just the thing I needed to hear.

I made a list to remind me of this for future dinner refusals:

1. You can't control what goes in - or what comes out.

2. Offer up things they like. Maybe he doesn't like the look or smell or texture, or shape of taco meat, but he likes cheeseburgers, so let him eat his meat that way.

3. Don't tie dessert to eating dinner. Try tying it to chores - like clearing their dishes.


  • Dan said:  

    Good food for thought. Yes, my wife groaned at that one too. Anyway, very timely for us. Good insights.