There are picky eaters in the world. Many of them. I just never thought my kids would be some of them. When it was just Gracie, Lukie, and me in the apartment last year, they would eat most everything I put in front of them with some exceptions. Recently, however, they have really been testing my patience.
Things Gracie will eat:
turkey, cheese, crackers
chicken, green beans, and noodles from Panda Express
and, sometimes, she'll eat:
Lukie will pretty much eat anything we put in front of him, except when he decides he doesn't want to. Yeah. He's fun like that.
We don't really have any control over lunch at day care. We have them help us make their lunches, but when they are at school, they eat only what they want to. All of the rest of their food comes home in their lunch boxes. Of course, it would be great if we would make them eat what was left over, but not very safe given it hasn't been in the refrigerator. Dinner has been the real challenge. We make dinner. We put it on their fun plates. Lukie will eat most of it, especially if it has meat and noodles or meat and rice. Gracie...She pushes it around and refuses to eat. Then, she'll ask for crackers or cheese an hour later.
A couple of nights ago, I had enough. I resolved to let them go hungry if they would not eat what we put in front of them. So, last night, Gracie said she wanted turkey, cheese, and crackers and Lukie agreed. I made each of them turkey, cheese, crackers, and added some sliced tomatoes and carrots.
To say that they ate little of it is an overstatement. Gracie threw her cheese at Lukie and said that she didn't want it. Neither of them ate the turkey. Lukie ate some of his tomatoes and that was it. Daddy and I told them that they either at their dinner or they would go to bed. Lukie turned his plate over and dropped his food on the floor. So, that was it. At 5:15 pm, they went into the bath tub, and were in their room, in their jammies, at 5:45 pm. Daddy and I read a few books to them and, then, at 6:30 pm, the lights went off. There was a lot of crying and kicking of feet, requests for bananas, etc., but Daddy held firm. They were asleep a little while later and, thankfully, slept through the night.
This morning, they had cereal and when they started to play instead of eat, I asked if they were done and reminded them that if they did not eat their cereal, there was nothing else to eat. This got them both to sit down and finish a little more. I don't expect it to be super easy, but I'm sticking with this method. I thought about trying something flashy and fun to get them to eat, but why? If you don't eat what we make, then you don't eat. It's a simple equation, one that Gracie and Lukie need to learn quickly.
Here's something funny: I started this post about two hours ago and just got an email from BabyCenter.com about finicky eaters. Let's see if the "experts" can help with the issue.