Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Let The Food Fights Begin

Jackson has been going through a frustrating stage of eating lately. He's being so picky about food at home, but from what he says, he eats everything they give him at school. Honestly, it completely baffles me because other than pickles, mustard and sauerkraut, I can't think of many foods I don't like. With Jackson, he refuses to eat corn at home, but eats it all the time at school. The same goes for English peas and carrots. Ugh. I love corn but if I cook something with corn in it, like soup or a casserole, he insists that all the corn is out of it before he will touch it.

Now I used to give in to his tendencies and 1)not cook with corn or 2)pick it all out for him. Now I'm much wiser and tell him that if he doesn't want to eat it, then he has to pick it out for himself. The other rule that I've learned is that like it or not, he has to at least try some of everything I cook. Monday night this caused such drama at our house that you would have thought I was physically harming the kid.

I made an old favorite of Jeremy's and mine called, "Main Dish Cabbage." It's super easy, and all it contains is ground beef, cabbage, and tomato soup. I knew the cabbage was going to be a stretch for Jackson, but paired with some pink eyed purple hull peas that he loves, I thought that we might be able to pull it off.

Well, apparently I thought wrong.

He did great with the peas, even eating seconds, and he ate the ground beef from the casserole even though he fussed the whole time. Then it came time to try the cabbage.

Y'all, I can't even describe the level of meltdown that occurred at our kitchen table. Our sweet, loving little kiddo turned into a Gremlin of sorts and completely unleashed on us. I've never seen anything like it. Around this time it occurred to us that Jackson wasn't going to buy our line that cabbage was just like spinach and would make him strong as Popeye.

Here are as few of the lines we heard from our favorite little Drama King:


He ended up running away from the table about 5 times, but each time we calmly got him, sat him back down and told him that we didn't care how long it took him, but he WAS going to eat a bite of cabbage, even if it took all night.

It was around that time that I realized I had turned into my Mom.

After about 10 minutes of sitting there, I got him to put a bite of cabbage in his mouth. He immediately started crying and was going to spit it out. I just quietly said, if you do that, you're going to get another bite. He waited about 5 minutes, crying, with the cabbage there in his mouth refusing to chew or swallow. It looked gross enough to make me sick! Then, when he did try to swallow he had gotten himself so worked up that he ended up gagging. I let him spit the bite out, and after he calmed down, I just quietly got another bite ready.

This time he ate it without complaining.

The whole meal was less than 30 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. I'm so glad that Jeremy and I stood our ground, staying calm the entire time, and didn't let him run the show. I explained to Jackson after he finished how proud I was of him, and that trying new foods is important. I may not be able to get him to like certain things, but he can at least give them a try!

But I will NEVER make the kid eat mustard or a pickle!

4 random thoughts:

Lisa said...

OMG, AMY!!! I am dying of laughter this morning...Adventure of Feeding A Child. While it may be hard...it is funny to read other stories. I know my day is coming and completely dread it, but I laugh this morning at poor jackson's meltdown. Although, I am proud you stood your ground and did it in a calm and understanding fashion...totally took notes on this one.

what is wrong with mustard or pickles? Lily Anne will eat pickles and beg for more. strange!

Jeni said...

Funny you eat cabbage,but not sauerkraut. And we have had these fights at our table too. Quite literally the only food David doesn't care for but will eat if he had too is hard boiled eggs. I'm pickier than he is, so it's hard for me to make my kids eat foods that I'm not crazy about myself, like peas, but David said they have to eat everything. We'll be glad for it and they'll be glad for it years down the road. :)

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Ha! Sounds like a lot of nights with Ethan. He will literally gag and puke if he has to have a bite of ground beef.

And I will never force my children to eat lima beans.

Kay said...

Wow. How did I miss THIS post? Laughing now. I totally remember my days of doing this. NOT fun at all. But good for you standing your ground and making him at least taste it.

We love pickles and mustard. He might love it too, you never know.

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