[deleted account] ( 50 moms have responded )
Okay, I promised I would never ever make food a battle, I would never force food on him or keep food from him, but we now have a situation.
Our rule is that he must eat one food from each food group everyday before repeating a food group. Like--If he has a grain for breakfast, he can have a fruit or veggie for lunch. If he eats a fruit, he must have a veggie before he can have another grain or fruit. This worked great for a while, but lately he has learned that skipping dinner is not so bad, so for the past week, he has had no veggies--only fruit and grains. (he does not snack regularly. I do occasionally give him V8 Popsicles or frozen fruit, but he has not had any the past two weeks).
So, the night before last, he asked for mashed potatoes for dinner and I fixed them for him, then he wouldn't eat them. So my husband got angry and said that we would not cook him any more food until he eats the potatoes (or the potatoes go bad). He can eat what we eat, or he can eat the potatoes, then he can go back to having what he wants. The new rule would be he must eat from every food group before repeating, even if it was across two days--like if he eats a grain and a fruit Monday, but no veggie, he still has to eat a veggie before he can have a grain on Tuesday. It sounded good in theory, but here we are on day 3 and the child has not eaten.
I'm torn, I don't know what to do. I don't want to back down at this point because it has become a power struggle and he will realize that if he holds out long enough he will eventually not have to eat the veggie, or worse, apply the principle to other situations and get whatever he wants. Also, I definitely don't want to step on my husband's shoes or override him because I want our son to know that we are a united front.
On the other hand, I feel like I am damaging his relationship with food and putting a negative spin on veggies. Plus, I'm not sure if you've ever been around a 5 year old who hasn't eaten in 3 days but he and I are MISERABLE!!!! He's hungry so he's whiny, and is throwing tantrums over every little thing--you know how it feels to be hungry, imagine that without the impulse control and anger management skills we have as adults. :P I'm not sure how long I can handle it.