Friday, April 17, 2009

Battle of Wills: Round One

Round one of the Battle of Wills between J and me occurred last night. I think it was a draw.

As many of you know, J is a notoriously picky eater. He eats a very limited variety of food including cereal, waffles, bacon, apple, banana, apple sauce, mac n' cheese, chicken nuggets/strips, grilled cheese, string cheese, yogurt, raisins, french fries/tator tots, fruit snacks, chips/pretzels, crackers, toast, ice cream, pudding. As you can see there are NO vegetables on this list. He does eat corn once in a blue moon and likes ketchup (which I am desperate enough to try and count as a vegetable). Most other foods he insists he doesn't like even though he's never tried them. He's always been this way. It's actually improved quite a bit--this list of food is long compared to what it used to be. He used to cry hysterically until we took any unwanted food off of his plate. Now he'll at least leave the food on his plate (most of the time). Even when I fix food he does like, there are still meals where he doesn't touch most of it. This is really frustrating!

Anyway, I have decided enough is enough. I'm tired of feeling embarrassed and guilty about my child's eating habits. I do think he has some legitimate issues with food texture (I had a milder form of the same thing and still do with certain foods), but he is not eating really good food simply because he won't even try it.

So last night I introduced the new One Bite Rule. Every night at dinner, J has to take at least one bite of everything on his plate before he can be excused.

Last night J had chicken nuggets, french fries, applesauce and peas. He immediately ate some applesauce and fries. After twenty minutes of discussion, he ate a chicken nugget. Almost an hour later and after much crying, it was 7:20PM and he still refused to eat a pea--one pea! So I took him straight from the dinner table to bed.

So I don't think either of us really won that round, but I don't think I lost either--so that's something. We'll see how the battle goes tonight. Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

Hi Haley,

Hang in there! I read somewhere that it takes up to 10 exposures to get use to a new food. Stand strong! John is a smart kid and will quickly figure out that Mom really means what she says. I'm rooting for you. -- Patti

Yarnhog said...

This is such a tough battle. I have one child who wouldn't touch a vegetable and another who hates meat. For the most part, I don't battle about food (my mother forced us to clean our plates, which was torture for me as a kid). But we used the two-bite rule when they were little, and now that they're older, I insist that they eat healthy foods they don't like--and model it by eating healthy foods I don't like, like broccoli and brussels sprouts, and explaining over and over that food is fuel that your body needs, whether you like it or not.

I hope this will help them to make healthy choices on their own when they're out of my sight!

Nicole B. said...

i find food one of the hardest areas (ok, maybe potty training is harder?!). the best to you. we end up getting will to eat some things b/c he is very motivated by having "special treats" after meals. usually 1/2 way through the meal will asks me to make a pile of the things he has to eat before getting special treat. sometimes it works better than others, though...

Jadielady said...

I wish you the best of luck. I was quite a little stinker when I was little. One night, mom got fed up and said "You will not eat anything else until you try this." It was lasagna.
Dinner, I did not touch it. Next morning at breakfast mom had cereal, I had a plate of lasagna in front of me. Lunch, dinner again. 2 days I sat at the table with a plate of lasagna and did not touch it.
Finally, they took me to McDonalds.