Thursday, September 29, 2011
Blah -- Parenthood
Tonight I got to experience one of those not-so-fun parts of parenthood. :P
Before I tell you that story....I'll share a bit of a background.
Andrew = fantastic eater till he was about 2. Then Andrew = insanely finicky eater. In my head I've convinced myself that finicky and picky are two different things. I don't think Andrew is picky....because he will eat most anything. But what he's willing to eat changes from day-to-day. Is that picky? They are probably the same.
Either way....I KNOW it is typical/normal/developmentally appropriate toddler behavior.
My concern has always been that he EAT. As long as it was healthy, I didn't really care what he ate. Even if that meant I made him a totally and completely separate meal from what I made for Philip and myself. Unfortunately though, in catering to his constantly changing whims about food, I was setting myself up for a lot of stress, blowing the grocery budget and possibly hurting my child in the long run.
Soooooooooo...hubby and I developed some "meal rules/guidelines" regarding eating. As with any rule/guideline...you have to use common sense. So no one take these as hard/fast/unbreakable rules.
1) Andrew gets to eat what everyone else is eating. Obviously I'm not going to make stuff he can't eat or fix all foods he doesn't like, but I'm not going to make him an entirely separate meal.
2) He gets "____________ or ______________" choices at breakfast or lunch. I do want him to have some "control" over what he eats, and ultimately, I'm still controlling the choices, but I'm also not burdening him down with lots of choices. But at dinner --- he is offered what we are having.
3) He doesn't HAVE to eat. He doesn't HAVE to try it. But that's what he has to eat. And he needs to sit with us for a bit anyway. (This isn't a big deal because he loves to talk to us about his day.) If he doesn't eat his portion, it's covered and wrapped up with his name on it and if he is hungry later, we will warm it up again. But after he goes to bed, if it's not gone, Philip can put it in his lunch for tomorrow or we can save it for whoever wants it later.
4) With the exception of "special" occasions Andrew needs to eat at the table.
5) Andrew is offered breakfast, lunch, a small snack (before 3:30pm) and dinner. Dessert IF we have it and IF he ate a good portion of his dinner. In between meals he can drink water if he's thirsty. He can have juice at snack time if he wants it. Milk is for breakfast and bedtime only. Water at lunch and dinner.
Tonight, after refused to eat dinner. And I KNEW it was something he liked.
So, I carefully wrapped up his food after he announced he was done and saved it for him.
Around 7:30 he starts crying and fussing that he was hungry. I offered him his dinner. He refused and told me he wanted a "sammich." I told him "No" and offered him his dinner again.
Someone throws a fit. As he's crying I can hear his little tummy growling.
He continued to refuse his dinner till he fell asleep. And I'm sitting here, feeling awful that my skin-n-bones little 2 year old went to bed hungry.
I need to be thankful I have plenty of food to offer him and the ability to get more food for him. He needs to learn to be thankful for the food he has. It's a tough lesson to teach and a tough lesson to learn. :(