Dinnertime is never easy
I wanted hot dogs!
Dinnertime for a toddler is always full of adventure. Gone are the days where you could place your child in a high chair and put food in front of them and they generally would try it. They are older and have found they have mobility and choices. They can make eating, for any parent, a challenge.
Parents should remember that dinnertime doesn’t have to become difficult. If anything, we are the good role models children need on eating. If we eat healthy foods like fish, grilled chicken and vegetables it is much more likely that our children will too. We should remember, it is very difficult to explain, to a toddler, why we can eat potato chips for dinnertime and they can’t.
Parents should watch what they say about not liking certain foods. Our children will “think” they don’t like something without ever trying it. If we want our children to try new foods then we have to keep trying various things and not let them have a preconceived idea about foods because “we” don’t like them.
Even with the best suggestions, eating and toddlers often becomes comically frustrating. In our house we normally try to eat in the dining room but because of some home improvement project dinner has moved to the living room temporarily.
I like cheese!
Me: It’s time to get ready for dinnertime Xan. (thinking he will be hungry for a fajita)
Xan: I don’t like it! (playing in living room)
Me: How do you know you don’t like it? You don’t even know what we are having! (smiling and thinking at least I am trying)
Xan: I know! I don’t like it! I need hot dog! (heads toward refrigerator)
Me: Why don’t you at least see what we are having before you don’t like it? (shaking head in disbelief)
Xan: Alright!!!! (said with sadness)
I give Xander a plate of fajita meat, cheese, sour cream and cut up shells so he can make his own mini fajita
Xan: OH!!! CHEESE!! I like it! (takes bite quickly)
Me: I told you that you might like it.
Xan: No! I like cheese! (said with conviction)
I am not sure why Xander just liked the cheese. He ate all the cheese and most everything else. I knew better than to say anything more. He would have stopped eating and insisted he didn’t like it. Sometimes, I find it’s better just to say as little as possible and ignore eating at dinnertime. My meals are more peaceful and he actually eats!
1 point Xander for not liking dinner before he even knew what it was, 1 point dada for not giving in and getting Xander to see what dinner was at least