Ah yes, the dog days of summer are here, and the girls have settled into an at-home routine which includes: playing with dolls in their dollhouse, riding their bikes (Marley and Delaney learned how this summer), reading their books, and like three little whirlwinds, romping around the house completely trashing the place!
But one thing they seem to do the most is EAT!
Well everyone that is, except Journey!
Don’t get me wrong, she’ll eat certain things, just not the things I’d typically like her to! When I attempt to serve her up a nice home cooked meal, she prefers to eat a plain old slice of bread.
It gets rather monotonous trudging back and forth to the kitchen making meals and fetching snacks multiple times a day for three growing girls, so it helps to be able to treat the process as if I’m working an assembly line. Line them all up, and give them each the same thing, as opposed to serving things up a la carte. And I am not about to serve more than one meal at dinnertime. But Journey makes the task virtually impossible because she’s so darn picky (yet she always claims to be hungry).
She’ll eat things like cheese, and bread separately, but if I try to combine them both into a nice cheese sandwich, she won’t eat it.
Meal time conversations with Journey go something like this:
“I’m hungry Dada, what do we have to eat for breakfast?”
“We’re having eggs Journey.”
“I don’t like eggs Dada!”
“I’m hungry Dada, what do we have to eat for lunch?”
“We’re having turkey sandwiches Journey.”
“I don’t like turkey sandwiches Dada!”
“I’m hungry Dada, what do we have to eat for dinner?”
“We’re having chicken and vegetables Journey.”
“I don’t like chicken or vegetables Dada!”
“Well do me a favor and tell me what you WOULD like to eat Journey?”
Its like Groundhogs Day, and I’m Bill Murray, because this conversation is repeated daily. At night I hear her voice like a ghost, haunting my dreams strongly affirming – “I don’t like spaghetti…I don’t like tacos…I don’t like this yucky food!”
But you know what she will eat?
You guessed it…pretty much anything sweet! Any dish you can think of that comes with syrup is perfect for breakfast.
Peanut butter with honey sandwiches are the staple for lunch.
But at dinner time the true tug-of-war and test of wills begins! Journey and I stare each other down like two grizzled old gun fighters squaring off at the OK corral – as I try to convince her to eat something healthy while she emphatically refuses.
Some days I just want to throw my hands up in defeat and shout to the heavens….”WILL YA JUST EAT THE DANG FOOD?”
Looking for solutions, I found many articles related to my dilemma which suggests that I’m not alone in this. Several articles like Reforming a Picky Eater, Step One: Children Don’t Control the Family Meal, and Quick Tips for Feeding a Picky Eater on WebMD where very insightful and gave me a lot to chew on! They urge parents to slowly and patiently introduce kids to a variety of foods. A parents job is to offer healthy meals, but the child must choose to eat them. We must not allow our children to hijack the dinner table.
Of course I was compelled to document this on-going episode in one of the new projects I’m working on – a piece entitled Just Eat! The following is a rough draft excerpt:
…“I just wish you’d chew your yummy stew, so you’ll grow big and strong –
and its good for you!”
“That may be true but in my view, this yucky dish belongs in a zoo.
It looks slimy, moldy, and lumpy too. I think I’d rather eat my shoe!”
“Eat your shoe? Now, now my dear…this is something I don’t wish to
“Hmmm, well maybe you should cover each ear, but I still wish this
dish would disappear.”
“I have no more time to be discreet, at this point I have one thing to
So in the meantime, I’ll just continue to find creative ways to cope with this picky eater predicament.
Any picky eaters in your house? I’m interested in your feedback.