I think I’ve expressed in a previous post that our sweet little Amariah can turn pretty stubborn when it comes to eating. Although things have gotten much better since the one-hour long training session we had several months back, she still periodically tries her hand at refusing to eat.
For supper last night I served the delicious meal that my friend Emily so graciously blessed us with–pork roast with potatoes, carrots, and green beans. Amariah rather quickly devoured the bites of meat (doused in ketchup, of course) and promptly indicated her wish for more. When I denied her request with an, “Eat your vegetables first,” the battle began.
Her refusal to even taste the vegetables earned her a few swats on the hand until she submitted and opened her mouth. However, about the same moment the vegetables made contact with her tongue, her tongue decidedly ejected them from her mouth. I stuck to my decision to withhold another helping of meat since she didn’t eat her vegetables and got her down from her highchair with the plan that she would eat nothing until she had eaten those vegetables–no matter how long it took. (I guess I can be pretty stubborn, too!)
Amariah went to bed last night on what I figured was a somewhat hungry stomach, but she didn’t complain. (She probably knew that if she had complained, out would have come those vegetables!) This morning the dreaded vegetables made their way back to her plate for a late breakfast/early lunch and were still intact at the end of mealtime. Still determined to win the veggie battle, I put Amariah down for her nap, this time certain it was on a hungry stomach. But again, no complaints.
After naptime, I put Amariah in her highchair with the same rejected vegetables from the night before and decided she would sit there until she was ready to eat them. After some period of crying she suddenly submitted her will and ate her potatoes, carrots, and green beans–and when they were gone, she asked for more!
I tell this veggie tale as an encouragement to other parents of picky eaters and as a reminder to myself. Persevere, and win these battles that seem so insignificant. In doing so, you are laying the groundwork to win–and maybe even to avoid altogether–larger battles down the road.