Friday, January 7, 2011

Catering to the Kids

Food issues. Sigh. What parent doesn't have at least one food issue at some point in their parenting career? There are some common complaints we all seem to face and some common suggestions on how to deal with them.

Don't give them anything else to eat; if they're hungry, they'll eat it. For how long should we hold this up? I've heard of some parents giving last night's dinner for breakfast! If they didn't like it at dinner, what would have made them like it while they slept?

I'm not a restaurant; this is what is served. That's being a bully. What adult would make themselves a meal they know they don't like, and then expect themselves to eat it? Would you invite a guest to dinner, and knowing that they're vegan, make them cream of chicken soup...and then say "I'm not a restaurant, you won't starve..."? Or, expect them to make their own dinner in your house?

"It tastes fine to me/It's not chewy to me" Why should you expect everyone in your family to like the same thing? We insist on the kids trying everything, but I also know that if they have already formed an opinion, they won't likely change their mind with just one bite. Meg loves fish, but last night she refused to try some catfish. She might have liked it, she might not have. But it wasn't worth a battle.

"You liked it last week" Yeah, and last week Melissa was her best friend and this week it's Maddie. Maybe she was more hungry last week. Maybe it tastes a little different tonight. I find this one SO frustrating, but I have to respect their opinions at all ages if I want them to grow up and know HOW to have and share opinions.

Having kids with sensory issues complicates things too. They (my kids; not all kids with sensory issues) have trouble chewing meats that adults find tender. I help out by cutting meats as small as possible for them, but sometimes that's not even enough, they only want 'easy' foods. Do I give in? Is there a way to make steak or pork chops easier to chew? I've even served veal only to be told it was too tough! Meg has the issue of over stuffing her mouth and then not being able to chew and swallow it all so I often find piles of chewed up food in the sink! She's done the hard work, LOL, I don't know why she doesn't just swallow. She also doesn't mind eating with her fingers, and doesn't feel when her face is dirty. But she does love to eat, LOL.
Lately, the big issue with Hugh has been the sound of knives on our stoneware. Like nails on a chalkboard, this common dinner noise is painful to his sensitive ears. So much so that he will either gobble it down and leave, or wait till everyone (esp. Daddy) is done eating. I can accommodate him by giving him a plastic plate, or a stoneware plate with a plastic fork...but I don't think Daddy wants to use a plastic knife.

With parenting, we're often faced with how much to compromise. When are we catering to our kids, and when are we just trying to make a harmonious meal time?

1 comment:

Amy said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! I think I just might try the babywearing if we decide to have another baby... but I guess people who don't understand personal space just dont understand it, so no matter where the baby is, they may be all up in there! ha.
Great post about not knowing what to do with eating issues. So far we are ok with our one year old, but I am waiting for the days to come when its not so easy. It is so hard to know when to stand strong and when to give in. Nice to see all parents go through the same problems!