It’s been such a roller coaster since we started making dinner a “non-negotiable” meal. Emery has been, mostly, adjusting well. As you read earlier he started with spaghetti and meatballs. He ate the leftovers of that for a couple days at lunch and still enjoyed it…especially with Parmesan cheese. It’s nice for him to get a little extra protein in his diet! 🙂
Since then we made little sliders (small hamburgers). This was a tough one. He normally likes burgers…but for some reason we were really struggling. He just would not eat. All he wanted were grapes. It’s not that grapes aren’t good for him, but he needs to learn to eat what we’re giving him. Anyway, he was way too tired to eat one night and fell asleep before dinner. The next day we attempted getting him to eat a burger for lunch and it wasn’t happening. I told myself, “He won’t let himself starve.” With that, we packed up our little burgers and headed to grandma and grandpa’s house for the afternoon. He was desperately wanting anything else…a sandwich, grapes, berries, banana…anything. I said, “burger or nothing.” He said, “Nuffing!” So we had this conversation for about 30 minutes. Finally, after a few moments of silence he said, “burger?” He jumped up in a big boy chair and stuffed his face as quickly as he could with the burger. You would swear he was in a speed-eating contest. As soon as he took his last bite he looked at me and said, “grapes?”
It worked the way I wanted it to. I don’t want him to become an over-eater and so I don’t expect him to eat everything on his plate…but he does need to take a couple bites of the things we have. He’s eaten a double cheeseburger before so I knew he could handle 1/2 a slider. He did the 1/2…ate a bunch of grapes…and spent the afternoon happy.
We went to a birthday party in the afternoon where they were also serving burgers…and luckily Hebrew National Hot Dogs (no “butts.” 🙂 ) So Emery ate a bunch of fruit (grapes, honeydew, watermelon, and pineapple) and ate nearly the entire hot dog…no bread. It wasn’t long before he fell asleep. He’s turning into such a cooperative eater! 🙂
Last night daddy made a recipe called “tortilla loaf.” It has tortillas (of course), sour cream, cream of chicken, grilled onion, cheddar cheese…it is pretty good and Emery has eaten it up before. He ate a bunch of grapes and a few bites of tortilla loaf.
The biggest thing we’ve noticed is his response to praise when he eats. When he finally starts taking bites of the main meal we’ve made we tell him what a big boy he is and how proud of him we are. We really do try to make a big production out of it because we want him to learn that what he is doing is very good! We’ve been persistent in not letting him make the decision of what he’s eating for dinner, but making him eat whatever we eat. Breakfast and lunch are much more lenient–we all do a free-for-all anyway! 🙂 It should become a lot easier as he gets older and becomes better at communicating his likes and dislikes. Right now we would always have grapes and berries for dinner…and sometimes pizza. He’s unpredictable. We’re hoping that this will help his palette to discover new tastes and textures so he can make better food choices when he’s older! 🙂