When I was a kid the rule always was "eat your dinner and you can get your dessert". Dessert was the reward for eating dinner. "Eat 3 more bites and you can have a candy bar". "Clear your plate for a bowl of ice cream". I don't blame my parents, they did the best with what they knew. The worst was when we would have pancakes with syrup and my Mom would count the syrup as the dessert. We always thought that that was an awful trick.
As an adult who has struggled to overcome seeing food as a reward for good behavior (eating all of my dinner) OR I eat (use to eat....) two donuts for breakfast because no one was going to tell me that I couldn't. Somewhere along the way, food became a source of validation- I am good enough to eat this or I am grown-up enough to choose how many donuts I want to eat.
Typical solutions to this problem are....
~ Eat it for breakfast (my husband has
~ Sit at the table until it is all gone: We shouldn't eat until our plate is empty. We should eat until we are full. How in the world will I ever know if he's really full? There are times when I'm just not hungry. What if he really isn't hungry.
~ Eat 3 bites and then you can have dessert: Again, food is not a reward. Dessert should be a special treat and not a reward.
~ Send him to bed hungry: I've been doing this for 3 weeks and it's not working!
~ Offer at least one food that he will eat: How much plain bread can (should) a kid eat in one day? I do, usually, end up giving him a piece of fruit when he totally refuses to eat anything that I offer.
~Try everything once: LOVE this idea, but he won't open his mouth. It's not like when he was a baby and I could "airplane" the food in and get him to try everything.
~ Have him help plan and prepare the meal: Yep, tried this...he was a great helper and still ate nothing.
Did I mention that I am stuck. I really don't know what to do. I want to raise children who have a healthy relationship with healthy food. I model eating a variety of food. Hubby even chokes down a steamed carrot now and then to encourage positive eating. :) Has anyone encountered this problem? is there a solution that I haven't considered?????