Friday, May 17, 2013


(this is not a post about my 30 days of no sugar, no grain, no legumes, no dairy....yes, I am still doing it and it's going great - I'm on day 26 and will talk more about it later)

This is a food post about my kids.

I had given up.

Nora and Sophie have a VERY limited palette.
A few months before the move and through the move and now a few months after the move their food choices have gotten increasingly more .... bland.  And as a result, less nutritious.

I think I worked harder (had more energy) with Lydia and Samantha because when prompted, they will eat just about anything.

I. couldn't. take. it. any. more.

It was evolving into me cooking two separate meals - ONE for the girls and ONE for me and Jake.
And then Samantha would look longingly at the adults plates wondering why she didn't get what we had.

Besides the added work I didn't feel like I was training them to just go with the flow and eat what was given them - thinking more about the nutrition than about the flavor.
I felt like they were becoming snotty and picky and I WAS DONE.

So, Jake and I came up with this:

You eat what mama cooks for everyone.
You have 30 minutes to finish with a good attitude.
If you finish in that 30 minutes with a good attitude, you get one cookie after dinner.
If you need a few more minutes and have had a good attitude about it, you still get the cookie when you're done.
Bad attitude/too long = no cookie.
You can choose at anytime after the 30 minutes to just be done BUT:
You get to eat your leftovers for breakfast.
At breakfast you have 30 min's.
If you're still not done,
You get the same leftovers for lunch and yet another, 30 min's.

IF you're still not done but I see that you made an effort at all three sittings, you can chuck the leftovers and start over with the new dinner.
If not....leftovers again and 30 min's again....

You are not, at anytime, allowed to tell me you don't like it.  You ARE to tell me if you do like it and I'll know by your omission that you did not like it.
You are allowed to tell me you don't like it if I ask but you must say it with kindness, not a gross face.
(note: I'm not so concerned with them making a gross face at me, I'm more concerned about them practicing manners with other people)

We have completed a whole week of this.

Nora is struggling the most but even then, she's only had to have one meal three times and another meal two times....and she's only thrown up once ;-).
Sophie cried through her entire plate of Paleo Pad Thai the other day, but by golly, she gobbled that Spaghetti Squash, Egg and Chicken up...she did.

But, the success stories?
THREE MEALS that I just KNEW Nora and Sophie would HATE...
they figured out ways to LIKE them.
Cauliflower, Brisket, meat on a quesadilla...and TOMATOES.

I did not expect such quick all.
They are doing great.
We will overcome this.
I'm stickin' to my guns here

(with lots of Jake's help, 'cause see, basically if my kids skips a meal I think they are going to end up malnourished and on the cover of a Children's Fund add...ridiculous? COMPLETELY but just like they are overcoming their food issues, I'm overcoming mine.)

Is the food battle an issue in your house?
What do you do?
Do you deem it important enough to battle over?

How was it growing up for you?
(my parent's fought it hard and I am soooo glad - I will eat, anything)


Missy said...

Ah! I love this! Since moving to Burkina, we prepped the girls, a lot, that dinner would be different. And since moving here the girls have come SO far in what they will eat now.

Here's how our dinner times go down....

I do not make separate meals.
They eat what we exceptions. (nothing is convenient here and it's time consuming enough making one meal, ain't no way I'm making two!)
You eat what you are given, or you go hungry.
You don't have to like it, but you can not complain.
If you don't eat, you don't get a treat, or anything else except water the rest of the night.
They don't have to eat all their dinner, but they do have to try and put forth a valiant effort. But, if they don't finish, they still don't get a treat. And they can choose. I give them the freedom to make that choice for themselves. If they really don't like the meal and would rather go hungry and treatless....then that's their choice. Go hungry. I've had both girls do that one time or another.

They still complain at times. And make faces every now and then. But they are getting better. Far from perfect but better.

Growing up my mom encouraged us to be open and share our opinions with her, even if we disagreed, but we had to do it respectfully. And I do that with my girls too. I want them to have the freedom to express themselves, and tell me how they really feel, but teaching them to do it in a respectful manner. So they are allowed to tell me that they don't like what they are eating one time. But they can not keep telling me over and over, and they can not complain.

That was a lot! But you asked for a lot of feedback! Sorry for the book. You know me.... :)

Liz W. said...

you going 30 days with NO FOOD!! that's at least my interpretation, can't wait to hear all about it.

As for how my girls eat at home. I only make 1 dish. Everyone eats the same thing. They must at least take a bite of everything on the plate. I do make some modifications: if I make non kid friendly veggies (kale, broccoli rabe, squash- stuff the adults love) they must take a bite, but I usually give Grace baby carrots/grape tomatoes/avocado in addition.

It's a struggle at EVERY single meal, b/c my girls just don't like to eat. ugh, if only I had that problem.

Stacy said...

Go Holly go!!! Work it girl!!

We started winning this battle early. I saw my niece manipulate my sister-in-law when my girls were still infants and I swore then that I wouldn't allow it with my children!

Our philosophy/rules:

#1: First Time Listening/ all areas! This included meals. If we said "eat it"...then you needed to obey us. If you didn't eat weren't obeying.

#2: We understand that you might not like it and we are ok with that. You are not having an allergic reaction, so the gagging will pass.

#3: You are not allowed to insult the cook in any way. Sometimes you get your favorite food...and sometimes you don't.

#4: We require that you eat the small amount that we placed on your plate (Seriously it was like a tablespoon...very reasonable). We never said "Just try it"...because they already had their mind made up...They would try it and already know that they would tell us they didn't like it! ***If you would like to complain or argue about the amount we are requiring you to eat...we will double it. (Surprisingly I have NEVER doubled anything!!)

#5: At the end of the must 1) Ask to be excused, 2) clear your plate, 3) THANK the cook. Regardless of whether or not you liked what you ate...someone took the time to make it for you.

Amber used to GAG down salad. Literally earlier this year she ate a salad and said, "Hmmm...that was pretty good!" I dropped to the floor and pretended to pass out! Persistence and commanding respect pays off!!

Go Holly go!!

Becky said...

I feel like this can be a hard subject to compare. My kids can go to many friends houses and never complain but they serve a different menu than I do. My kids love tacos and lasagna they eat them without complaining. Those are once a month fare in our house.Most nights you can smell the curry, fish sauce or chorizo in the kitchen. Kimchi pancakes, larb gai, tofu or stuffed grape leaves are our regulars.

This is where it gets tricky S & E love sushi and tofu M takes out the seaweed then re-wraps it. M loves stuffed grape leaves S eats one without the grape leaf and is done these things are not always done without a verbal complainant that follows with instruction from a parent on how to modify the meal so they will eat it. I would be happy if I could stop the verbal complainants and have them modifying to their taste without prompting from me.

Drama Queens Mum (Kimberly) said...

We need to try this. My daughter is really picky. She pretty much eats, pasta, rice, chicken, mac & cheese.