15 May 2011

Dinnertime is hurting my self-esteem

Someday my kids will eat what's for dinner. Right?

Someday they won't be so loyal to their frustratingly limited list of food items.

And that damn Food Nanny.

She's so upbeat and precious that I can't stay mad at her for long.

I watched her shows diligently and took note of all her tips and rules and still! Still! We have nights like tonight constantly.

I know I need to be consistent and keep trying to expose them to a variety of foods.... and we're talking really basic food that most humans eat like eggs, chicken that isn't a dino or nugget, most cooked main courses in general... but the nightly rejection is taking a toll.

If I make homemade pizza or pancakes we are all on the same page. Other than that... all bets are off.

These precious little infuriating robots!
I finally captured & contained them!
They look healthy enough, but when are they going to really eat? How do they live? Their diet consists mainly of sandwiches, quesadillas, fruit, crackers... maybe cheese.... and a whole lotta whatever sugary junk they can talk me into... I'm sure I am missing something else, but that about sums it up.

I told Ambrose we were going to make a 25 new foods sticker chart like his buddy Adelaide has and he was really excited. Three stickers in he wants his prize and the chart turned into a complete meltdown disaster.

Somebody save me! I'm gonna start eating dinner locked in my room with Thomas while the boys rummage through the pantry for spare packs of fruit snacks and old 72 hour kit cast-offs. What would the Food Nanny say??? I'm sorry Food Nanny. You spunky thing you. I love you. I will keep trying, but I feel like a loser.


Alicia said...

You are not alone, Stephanie! I'm sure my kids are even more picky than yours. My daughter won't eat fruit at all! And she won't eat most meat. Her diet consists of bread, plain pasta, plain rice, and the occasional turkey sandwich. She won't eat peanut butter, or even chocolate! She's even picky about her sweets!
By the way, I was singing that song for my husband a while ago, and can you believe he has never heard "I'm a loser, baby. So why don't you kill me?"

snbjork said...

AMEN to everything you just wrote. My kids are ridiculous, too. Tacos. Spaghetti. Homemade macaroni and cheese. Nope. Nope. Nope. They won't eat anything or try anything. It's rather frustrating, so I totally understand what you're going through. We've resorted to all sorts of bribery, but nothing has worked. So, they simply choose to go to bed hungry rather than trying what's on their plate.

Matti said...

Hey Steph! This post was hillarious! What did you call them? Oh ya! Infuriating robots! Hahaha!! So true. You are an excellent Mamma..they will come around I bet. My only suggestion might be that 25 foods seems a ways away. Are there smaller mini-goal lines along the way? And then as you go you can move the goal post further and further. But, whatever they won't eat send my way! I have always loved your meals! ;-) But, I don't have it figured out either. Eden and Tex live on basically that same diet. Though I did make them a pizza they suprizingly ate the other day. I'll give you a recipe later.

stephanie joy said...

Alicia- maybe it came out while he was on his mission? I frequently will be like: Hey this reminds me of that one song and attempt to sing it and Thomas looks at me blankly.... could just be my singing skills, but if we trace it back to what year it was popular it usually ends up being while he was on his mission! haha

Suzanne- I think of you as this chef of all chefs so it brings me great comfort that you are in the same predicament! Misery loves company. :)

Matild- You are on to somethin with the smaller goal idea!!! I should have known better! Genius. I am totally gonna try that. Maybe we'll start with five foods and then he will only have two more to go. I'm gonna need your sneaky pizza recipe fo sho.

ashley said...

thank you for posting this song with your post, it will be in my head all day and i love it.

maybe just don't feed them for a day or so then only offer healthy stuff the next day? that is what we did with velz.
k, i kid. but maybe it would work? ;)

Ashley said...

Lincoln will try everything, but if he doesn't like it he gags and spits out his chewed up bite of food...gross. And he likes very few things, so this happens a lot! But I guess I should be proud of him for at least trying new things.

echo said...

i know the feeling.
we are still in the thick of it. i don't have much advice to offer as each child is different. but some of the rules for the 25 foods thing is that to get a sticker she has to at least eat 4 bites of something new.
if it is a food that she has had before and has liked in the past but for some strange reason has decided she will never eat it again (oatmeal, mac and cheese) she has to eat the whole thing, but because i know she doesn't like it she will still get a sticker for being brave and doing it anyway.
if she chooses not to eat what i make, she chooses not to eat. she is only allowed one glass of milk at each meal (so i know she is getting some nutrition while she works through this non eating spell) and it is fine if she chooses not to eat, but she just won't get treats, snacks, or food of any kind until what i made is gone.
it was hard for the 1st 2 days and she went 3 meals without eating once, but eventually she did it. and with each time it has slowly gotten better. the next time she held out it was only for 2 meals.
it might sound harsh, and i felt terrible while i was doing it. but i had to stay strong and not let my guilt get to me.
we still struggle a bit but she understands that i mean business and she really wants her snorkel. she asks to look at it every day.
anyway, this may not have helped but i do feel your pain.
oh also i only try to introduce a new food 1 to 2 times a week. i don't want to scare her away from food forever.
good luck.

boo face mcjones said...

Oh man. This is not an exciting post about fun things to come, is it? They sure look healthy to me, so you must be doing something right. Perhaps if you let Asher make more videos that would help? Or maybe that is just my way of telling you that the Asher video was awesome and I need more. MORE!

modestmuse said...

LOL, I know it's not really funny but your description of the situation is hilarious. The kids rifling through the kitchen for survival ... they would probably prefer that though unfortunately! I actually made dinner Sun. night and I said to Neil "what if we had a bunch of kids and I had to make dinner every night?!" I honestly don't know what I would do. Neil eats salad every night and I eat like Ambrose and Asher most nights. Not good. I think Neil needs to make a "new foods" chart for me. But I want shoes instead of stickers. You are light years ahead of our situation, I commend you!

gator04gal said...

haha this post and this song cracks me up! I am right there with ya too! You are not alone! My sister didn't eat a fruit until she was 21 and she is still alive, healthy and well... :)

j,d and little b said...

And that last post was from me...not sure why I was logged into my high school google account??

Smiths said...

I'm with Ashley, when they are seriously hungry, they will eat :) It's a hard one I've trained myself not to get emotional about. They will eat at some point and I refuse to make it an issue, because that's when the refuse to even try and will remember that food as the refusal food and the games begin. Just remember, kids wont let themselves starve. And I've cut out a lot of snacking, because they fill up on fish crackers or whatever. They WILL get better and eat.

katie speed said...

you are such a good writer.

they really are precious infuriating robots!

Melissa said...

do you want to know what parents did with me when I was two? no?
I will tell you anyways ;)

my mom asked the pediatrician what to do because I would only eat hamburger patties and apples and NOTHING else.

He said offer her what you make for every meal and then if she doesn't eat it, she doesn't eat. But always have something healthy (like strawberries) on the table where she can reach it so when and if she decides to eat she will have food reafily available.

So long story short, after two days of eating absolutely nothing and refusing everything she offered, I climbed up on the table and ate like 10 strawberries.

After that i ate what she offered. If i didn't eat that i didn't eat anything.

thats the story. it worked for them, maybe it will work for you to?

good luck with whatever you end up doing! they"ll eat eventually right?

Diana said...

it could be worse. they could be still nursing.

Mariko said...

Ha. I like Diana's comment.

So I have a real problem with kids going to bed hungry. I force her to eat. Seriously. I think some people think I'm wrong and that I'm majorly messing her up. Maybe. For the first several months of regular food eating (when I thought she was old enough to understand what I was saying), she would actually almost throw up. Sometimes she WOULD throw up. Then it would be time out, and more demanding, etc, etc. I get that some people don't want it to be an issue. Food is my thing, so I care a lot. I think some people don't accept certain kinds of behavior in their kids and this is my thing that I don't accept in my kid. It's pretty rare now that I can't get her to eat something. She basically eats almost everything, and this is a kid who used to refuse bread. Every kind of vegetable. Most fruits. Anything other than milk and mum mums were out of the question. So we've come a long way, and she is usually pleasant at dinner time and she is amazing at restaurants. She wants to try everything.
Yes, this whole process sucked soooo bad when we were in the thick of it.
I think part of the reason this method worked with me, though, is that she is so social that being in time out when we're together at dinner is a major deterrent. At this point she has a pretty healthy appetite so she wouldn't want to go to bed hungry for anything.

I know kids who go many meals without eating and hunger is never a deterrent for them. One in particular (almost a teenager) basically only eats rice, if it's offered. So my theory is that most everything anyone tells you about your own kid is basically garbage. Try lots of different things.
Back to square one.

Carrie said...

Haha this post made me laugh out loud. Hilariously infuriating robots indeed! My kids are in the same boat and most nights Ben says, "don't worry hun, someday they'll realize how lucky they are to have a mom that cooks good food." And in the meantime I'm in the same boat with you! And I'm one who makes my kids try a bite of everything, only to have Banks actually throw up at the table. Not fun.

That food nanny looks hilarious btw. I'd never seen her before.