Grrr…Miss Aviana, who is the child that will say to me, “I would dist wite some wejtibles for a snat” (I would just like some vegetables for a snack) has been rebelling big time at mealtime. In the last week, she has refused her lunch and dinner every single night on the premise that it is too spicy, or she doesn’t feel well or it’s too hot, or I gave her too much, or she won’t say anything at all and just won’t eat it. Sometimes she’ll eat a bite or two if we feed her like a baby. We don’t let her eat anything else the rest of the night. It it’s at lunch time, I’ll reserve her lunch at snack time, but she still won’t eat it, so I usually let her have some fruit or veggies with cheese.
I haven’t been too concerned because she always has healthful snacks and eats a good breakfast.
I have been trying to not get into a power struggle about it, because after all, how can you force a kid to eat? You can put a carrot in the mouth, but you can’t make it stay.
Tonight we had a yummy roast with carrots and potatoes. All her favorites. She wouldn’t even touch it, complaining of a tummy ache. I know she’s playing me, so I ask her if she wants some snack mix.
“How about a cookie?”
“Could you eat some chocolate?” I inquire.
“Yes, I fink so.”
“Then eat your dinner.”
Plaintively, “I taaaaaaaan’t”
I had told the girls we would go upstairs and watch a video after dinner if there was time before bed-always a special treat. So after trying to convince her to eat to the point of my frustration, I told Aviana she would just sit on her bed until bedtime while Brielle and I went upstairs. She cried and complained, but to her bed she went. After a bit, she came upstairs. I told her to go down and eat her dinner, and she did. There was one break, where she needed to be reminded again, and the whole process took almost an hour and a half, which is just ridiculous. But she did eat, and got to watch the last five minutes of Elmo’s World (Melmo in B speak) with us.
I don’t know what to do. Is this a big deal? Is it a phase? Should I discipline her about it or just say ‘fine, nothing until breakfast’? Should I cut out her snacks altogether? Or should I just not care as long as she’s not eating junk, and is getting her nutrients? Is this an obedience issue/ rebellion issue or just a food issue?
Most of the ‘experts’ (not that most experts necessarily know more than your average mom on the street) say not to worry, bribes/punishments not a good idea, don’t give child any extra attention… I want to know what really works at a kitchen table near you.