Sharon - posted on 04/04/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )
This blogger says what I've been saying all along. STOP INDULGING YOUR BRAT. Seriously. you've done this. You've created this. if your child won't eat - its because YOU allow this to happen.
If that doesn't show as a link - copy & paste to your browser window.
but here is CP text from the article.,.
Wyatt, KJ, Lily, Sam, and Jo (courtesy KJ Dell Antonia)Imagine for a moment, that, for a week, your picky-eater child has no options. That every day, three meals are presented, and if he or she doesn't eat them, that's it. There is no grocery store, there is no pantry, there is no fridge. It's not even "my way or the highway," because there is no highway. This was our life, for one week last summer.
My husband, my mother Jo, and I took our three kids (then 7, 5 and 3) to China to adopt our fourth child (a 3-year-old daughter). Before we reached her province, the rest of us were caught up in China's stringent H1N1 quarantine. My husband spent a week locked in a tiny hospital cell with a mild case, served three meals a day through an air-lock window like the one they use at Harold's Chicken on Chicago's far South Side. The rest of us rode it out in quarantine, five confused Westerners amidst several hundred similarly exposed Chinese. We were served three meals a day, at first in our room, then buffet style. Three Chinese meals. Small amounts of meat or fish, with vegetables, in sauces. Noodles. Dumplings. Shrimp, complete with heads and tails.
It wasn't that we didn't expect to eat Chinese food in China (and lots of it). It was that suddenly, I didn't control when or what the kids were eating, and neither-once they'd chosen among the day's offerings-did they. We pointed, said thank you, took the food, and gathered around a table, all of us -- three kids, me and my mother -- on equal footing. What is that? We don't really know. What does it taste like? Well, somebody try it. Seven-year-old Sam discovered a love of curry; 4-year-old Lily, steamed buns; Wyatt, 3, ate snails. The rest of us had one bite each and agreed that although snail tasted ok, it was rubbery.
We did not have, all week, one single argument about the food on our plates. This is what led to my horrible realization: my kids will eat anything. They're human beings, and if you put edible food in front of hungry humans, they'll take what they need to get by.
Therefore, if they've been picky at home -- turned up their noses at a perfectly good meal or thrown a tantrum because we have the wrong kind of Pop Tarts -- it's because I've let them.
Which really, really blew. I never pandered to special requests at home, cooking a different dinner for each kid or providing a plate upon which nothing touches anything else. But every time I opened the pantry, or offered a snack an hour after the breakfast dishes were cleared, I was essentially saying, "heck, no, don't eat it if you don't like it. Don't even try it if it doesn't look good. You'll get something you like better before you even have time to get hungry." And so they waited. Once China said eat it or don't eat it, but there isn't gonna be anything else -- they ate.
This hasn't been an easy lesson to bring home. For one thing, there's no buffet here -- if I want them to try new things and eat whole foods, I have to cook them. For another, they're not fools. They know we have snacks in the pantry, and even if we don't, there's food at school and at the store and at the gas station and everywhere we look. The truth is that eventually, into every American child's life, some Goldfish will fall -- but, at our house, not nearly as often as they once did. If there is chili, there will no longer also be cereal; if there are apples, there need not also be chips. Because I have seen these kids eat snail, and now I know their secret: if I let them get a little hungry, they'll eat.
Can't get quarantined? Then try this at home:
1) Don't offer an alternative to dinner, and give no seconds on any food until everything has been at least tasted.
2) Skip snacks. When kids come in starving for dinner, get them out of the pantry and into setting the table or chopping vegetables. (In a pinch, put salad out first.)
3) Go for a nice, long hike with a healthy picnic.
4) Just don't buy it. If there are no cookies in the pantry, there are no cookies in the pantry.
5) Offer "weird" foods again and again and again (and again). Experts say it can take as many as seven "exposures" before a kid takes to a new food.
6) Don't give up, and don't give in. No kid ever starved to death because the only food on offer wasn't white.
edited to change a "7" to the "&" symbol... lol