14 Jan 2013

No likey, no problem

In retrospect (it was only last week!) I should have had a resolution that I'd worry less about how much my child does or doesn't eat.

For instance, yesterday for dinner, I presented her with sausage casserole with broccoli and green beans. My thinking behind it was that she eats sausages, devours broccoli and treats green beans like sweets. Well that was the theory but in practice she ate none of it...tried to tell me the sausage bits were hot (they weren't), pushed the broccoli to the edge of the plate and left the beans untouched.

Last week she refused one of her favourites, chilli and rice. So in a last ditch attempt I thought if she wasn't going to eat it then we might as well play with it. I got some butterfly shaped cutters out and we stuffed the food in and made butterflies. She then picked up a handful and shoved it into her mouth and we carried on this way until it was all gone!

So this year I'm not going to sweat the small stuff, so what if she decides against her meal, I sometimes don't fancy certain things. The rest of the day she ate well, breakfast was a pancake and raisins, a mid morning snack of grapes, crackers at lunchtime and 95% of my chicken sandwich so I was left with a limp salad ensemble. Afternoon she had a whole banana and half of my apple (can you see a pattern there!) and ate some cheddar with balsamic onion in it with breadsticks after her aborted dinner.

I worried before that she'd wake in the night hungry and it would be a nightmare (I love my sleep and hate interruption to the point it gives me panic attacks) but so what. She hasn't woken through hunger (that I know of in her life yet) besides she still wakes us in the night anyway at the moment because she's teething (again - oh how I hate those pesky cute stumps).

If she ends up being an adult that only eats cheese sandwiches then that will be her choice and she'll watch her father and I tuck into all manner of more interesting feasts. So this year, I'm going to sit it out and enjoy her strong sense of herself and her choice of saying 'no' at meal times. I'm not forcing her (who am I kidding, as if she'd let me try and force her) and I'm going to do my best impression of bright and breezy as I remove a rejected dinner that I've slaved over. It's the long game I'm going to focus on, as long as I keep trying her on new things then my job is done.

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