Friday, September 14, 2012

Please, eat! Or the feeding struggle continues…

Although I consider myself pretty lucky with how Allie eats, once in a while she still goes through the stages of not wanting to eat what I need her to eat. I’ve read and heard many times that if kids are hungry, they will eat; so if they don’t eat, it means they are not hungry and you should just leave them alone. Ok, so what does that mean? If Allie doesn’t eat her dinner, I just let it go, give her a bath and put her to bed? Well, that is probably the right thing to do, but this can never work for me, because then I won’t sleep myself all night, because I will think about my starved child who didn’t have anything to eat. So that is not really an option… Instead, if she is not in an eating mood, I run around the kitchen like a meteor on steroids looking for different options. Running to the fridge, getting out a slice of cheese.
“You want some cheese, Allie?”
“No!”
“Ok…” Running over to the pantry. Grabbing  a cracker. “How about a cracker?”
“No!”
“Are you sure?”
“No craaaackeeeer!”
Then I try to fool her and act like the cheese is a brand new thing on the menu and offer that again and then I am given THE look! “No, mama! No! No! No!”
And then running from the fridge over to the pantry continues, until we find something suitable. I mean I am not complaining, this doesn’t happen that often, but when it does…. Oh man…. This can probably count for a full session of a cardio class with all the running around.
So I am learning the ways to deal with this.  I discovered one secret that ALWAYS works! Always! The secret is to present any food as it is a “make your own sandwich kit”.  So what I do is take Allie’s special dinner plate that has 4 compartments and fill them up with the “sandwich stuff”. Well, here is an example:
-Tuna salad
-Fresh cucumbers
-Toasted small slices of whole wheat bread
-Swiss cheese
Pretty nutritional! But the secret is to put the plate in front of Allie and say “Let’s make a sandwich!” and then I start piling everything up on bread (while of course having lots of fun with it: laughing, repeating “Yay!”, saying “I did it” and all that jazz). That is a recipe for success for us. Allie starts making her own sandwiches saying “I did it!” after each one she makes and proceeds to eat them. Then I am happy.
The sandwich combinations can vary, of course, serve some deli meat instead, or chicken salad – whatever you want, add some fresh sliced veggies, some good cheese, hummus.  And another real cool thing to add would be to leave a small dish of pureed soup in front of her too (I’ve actually just thought of it now). Then she can dip the sandwich in the soup and that’s even better (what kid doesn’t love to dip?)!
The soup season is upon us, I’ll share a few soup recipes soon!

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