Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Carrot Battle

Ding ding ding! Round 982 of the ongoing food battles with Ryan goes to.....Mommy and Daddy! I mentioned a few weeks ago that we have been using the "one bite" rule, where Ryan needs to take just one bite of each food on his plate. Sine then we have been wavering a bit, giving him too much leeway on what a bite was, and what exactly he needed to take a bite of. To be honest, the reason I sometimes give in at the dinner table is because sticking to the rules is so darn frustrating, time-consuming, and mentally exhausting.
Tonight I made pot roast. (A new recipe for me! Usually I make it my mom's way, by dumping BBQ sauce over the meat, potatoes and carrots, and then baking for 4 hours at a low temp in the oven. That method is kind of sweet and really yummy, but I was in the mood for something different. Today I put it all in the crockpot and used water and onion soup mix as my only flavoring, in the place of BBQ sauce. After it all cooked I strained the sauce, and then thickened it with a little bit of flour and butter to make a gravy. It was so good!)
 Not a great picture, but you get the idea. Anyways, back to Ryan. I served him a plate of a little bit of each component of the pot roast: chopped up meat, 1 carrot, and one potato chunk. I figured he would eat the meat, since he likes beef, but nothing else. Unfortunately we had to pull Ryan away from something really really fun in order to sit down to dinner. So he was in a really foul mood.

He refused to take a single bite. He just wanted to go back outside to drive his John Deere truck. We told him if he ate at least a bite of each food, he could go back out and play. He wouldn't give in. Fortunately, neither did we. After SO MUCH whining and fake crying, Ryan finally took a bite of meat. By this time the rest of us had finished our dinner. Ryan thought that one bite was enough, and was furious when he learned he wouldn't be allowed down from the table yet. So he shoveled the rest of his meat in his mouth and then said "Yay!". This is where we would have normally given in and let him down. But tonight we got tougher and told him he had to try his carrot. (Potatoes make him gag so I didn't push that on him)

At one point I turned to Adam and asked "When is mealtime going to STOP being such a battle with this guy?"

Of course Ryan refused to eat the carrot. He got really upset and picked up his carrot and threw it at me. I immediately put him in a timeout and told him very sternly that throwing food is NOT ok, and throwing things at people is NEVER ok. He hugged me and told me he was sorry. He probably thought the battle was over, but we were sticking to our guns. I strapped him back in to his booster chair and told him he still needed to take a bite of that carrot. He told me it was too mushy. So I offered him a raw baby carrot, and he said yes. (Keep in mind up to this point, he has never ever eaten a carrot, except in pureed form as a baby).

 He held that baby carrot in his hand and stared it down. I was prepared to sit there all night. Finally, after what felt like hours, he tentatively put the carrot in his mouth and took a tiny nibble. He looked at me with a look of pure torture. I encouraged him to chew it and swallow, but when he started to, he gagged and started to throw up in his mouth. (I saw it. Eww) I encouraged him again that it was ok, and he should just chew and swallow. He finally managed to get it down, and I honored our promise to him. He ran outside and spent the rest of the evening riding around in the backyard.
Whew. On the one hand I am proud of us for not giving in. And encouraged that we eventually got Ryan to try just one bite of a vegetable. But seriously, can you blame me for taking the easier road some nights and not forcing him to eat his fruit or vegetable? Particularly when Adam works late and it's just me vs. Ryan, I don't feel like I have the energy to go to war with Ryan over a bite, while trying to entertain Lucas at the same time. And we're just talking about dinner....there are two other meals during the day, and Ryan is just as strong-willed during those meals.

We won the carrot battle. Which fruit or vegetable will we fight over tomorrow? Who knows. But I am determined to stick with this and make this boy learn to love food like I do.

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the fight Mama and the absolute best thing you can do is be 100% consistent. The more you are (and I know how tough that is with my own picky little guy) the more they know what to expect from you and what you expect from them. By choosing to make it a battle everytime he will learn (and quickly) that he must eat something of everything. Keep at it, you are doing a great job!