I vaguely remember an event that occurred around 7:30 every evening and involved eating at a leisurely pace and my husband and I speaking to each other and actually hearing all the words.
I’m not sure what happened to that meal. Lately, many of our dinners devolve into an exercise in frustration.
The reason: For the last several months, Sam has not eaten his dinner. More than a few bites, that is. And some nights, not a single forkful passes his lips.
A while back, I posted these before-and-after shots of my kids’ dinner plates. Those are looking pretty good compared to Sam’s recent dinner showings.
Like this one:
Or this one:
I follow Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility: That means I’m supposed to be in charge of what we eat and when we eat. My kids are in charge of whether they eat it and how much they eat.
But I’m also human. And a (slightly harried) working mom of two young kids. So some days, when Sam is clamoring for a banana 30 minutes before dinner and I have three pots going on the stove and the phone is ringing and Henry is whining that he can’t find his Lego policeman’s microscopic set of handcuffs, the Division of Responsibility goes out the window. And some nights, after spending 45 minutes preparing a pretty delicious and well-balanced meal only to have Sam push away his plate yet again, I feel utterly defeated by this 30-pound redhead.
Sure: This phase, too, shall probably pass. But in the meantime, I wanted to know if there’s anything I could do differently. And I wanted to hear an outside perspective. So I decided to consult with Dr. Dina Rose, a “food sociologist” who teaches parents how to instill healthy eating habits and consciously shape their children’s relationship with food. She writes a terrific blog called It’s Not About Nutrition.
Next week, I’ll let you know what she has to say about Sam’s dinner defiance, plus some surprising tips she had for getting both kids eating better.
Oh, and those Lego handcuffs? I accidentally vacuumed them up. Don’t tell Henry.