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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mashed potato meltdown

C committed a major faux pas this evening by serving mashed potato on the same plate as Lauren's meat balls and tortilla. Big mistake.

The plate is one of those kid friendly sectional kinds so the food items weren't even touching, but it didn't matter. Lauren took one look and burst into a screeching fit. She tends to do this when food that she doesn't like shares the same space as food she does like. We've told her countless times to just eat what she wants and leave the rest, but she'll just refuse to eat anything until the offending food is removed.

I eventually got a new plate and transferred everything minus the mash, but I'm not sure this is the right thing to do. Does this teach her that she can screech to get her way at the dinner table? How will she discover new foods if she won't even accept it being on her plate?

I don't like the "eat this or nothing" approach because Lauren doesn't have a big appetite to begin with. Not that I think she'll starve herself, but pasta again is better than nothing, right? Plus we've tried that approach a few times which resulted in her waking up at all hours of the night because of hunger. At 4am the only thing I have the energy to serve is cereal.

"Be persistent" is the phrase I hear over and over again when it comes to kids eating. Well, being persistent ain't easy, but I'll try.