Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good Eating vs. Good Eating Habits

I would love to buy my son fresh, organic veggies, then wip up creative, nutritious meals, and have him devour three meals a day and a few snacks.  I would like for him to sit at the table while he eats, in his high chair or in a regular chair, I don't care.  Right now though, I'd just settle for him eating anything anywhere! I try to limit things like cookies and candy, in hopes that he'll eat healthier alternatives.  But I swear, nothing I'm doing is working!  I know, he's two, and two year olds don't eat much, and he'll eat when he's hungry.  Knowing these things doesn't make it any easier though.  And when it finally comes to a point where I think "I don't care what he eats, if he'll just eat something", then he ends up eating french fries from McDonald's for lunch and oatmeal cookies for dinner!

Ok, maybe I'm just venting a little (which I can do since no one reads my blog anyways) and its not that bad, but it is bad.  He eats fruit and yogurt, so at least there is something healthy in his diet.  I want for him to have good eating habits, regarding what he eats, when and where, but how do I balance that with just getting him to eat?

There are so many different schools of thought on this.  Some people have snacks available all day so that their kids eat when they want to.  So they are probably eating and playing, running around with food in their mouths and hardly ever sitting at a table.  Other people put their kids in highchairs, strap them down, and offer them food.  They make little airplane sounds to make it fun, and otherwise entice their kids to eat.  Then went they are finished, that's it, food goes away until next time.  And if you follow a Montessori approach, you let your child sit at a child sized table to eat, and if they get up from the table, the food goes away.  That way your child learns that when you get up from the table, eating time is over, so you'd better eat!  I've done it all.  None of these things seem to work with Link.

Granted, if I put the food away, and Link comes to me ten minutes later and actually offers to eat something, I have a very hard time saying no.  Heck, lately, if he does that, I jump for joy and make him whatever he wants.  Half the time he still doesn't eat it!  I think he really really doesn't like what I cook.  I have to admit I'm not creative.  I have a difficult time thinking of things to make for any meal without repeating the same thing every day.

So what do I do!?!  I figure soon enough he'll have his appetite back, then the eating thing won't be such a big deal.  Just the eating at the table without pitching a fit part...

After posting this, I started thinking "how do parents deal with this when their kids are in daycare?" Teachers can't dote on every child the way a parent can at home... kids sit at little tables and eat at meal time or they go hungry!  They eat what is served, or go hungry! Are they healthy? I don't know.  Do they sit at the table at dinner time? I don't know... but it is something to think about.

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