Yesterday I spent 40 minutes in the kitchen cooking for the family; OH and I were having a risotto and I did a chicken breast fillet, mashed potato and peas for Roo. This is something she eats and is one of her favourites. Dinner time should have been oh so simple. Cooking for your kids after all is easy when you know what they like….right?
Clearly I was wrong. I am not sure why this fussy eating toddler stage has started or where it has come from lately.
Roo sat down at the table with us and promptly announced she didn’t want peas. Fine I said leave the peas thinking she would come back to them. She poked the mash potato with her finger. This prompted a sharp “don’t use your fingers” from dad. Now I don’t know what any one else’s three year old is like when they are tired and irritable but at meal times Roo when she is like this chooses to ignore her cutlery and use her fingers. Discipline from us and reminders not to eat like a baby are ignored and it usually ends up in her being removed from the table without any supper until she chooses to eat like a big girl.
Next she looked at the chicken and remarked that apparently she didn’t like chicken. I could feel my blood boiling and temper rising, mash potato was being pushed around on her plate and she was distinctly not interested in eating with us.
We informed her that unless she ate her dinner there would be no pudding and she would go straight to bed without any dinner and there wouldn’t be anything else. No response. The plate gets pushed away and she gets down from the table and resorts to sitting back on the sofa.
We finish our meal in peace, ignoring her and not rising to her cries of “I want pudding”. Ten minutes later she’s back at the table wanting to eat. Again she doesn’t want the peas, but this time she is prepared to eat the chicken and the mash potato….if I feed her. Now I am not sure whether I should have given in and fed her at this point or let her feed herself but I relented and fed her the dinner and she sat there and ate everything except the peas and told me she was sorry for bad table manners.
I did give her pudding when she had eaten her tea which she ate nicely on her own at the table and we cleared the table together. But I was left feeling frustrated and annoyed that I had spent time and effort cooking a dinner that had seemingly gone unappreciated. Meal times are becoming stressful and we rarely will eat out all together in a restaurant because depending on Roo’s mood depends on whether we make it past the first course or end up leaving the restaurant before all hell breaks loose.
What is also increasingly annoying is that if I was to offer her something sweet or a naughty treat she would devour these all day long & despite my best efforts to reduce these being given to her by family members it isn’t working and I am worried she is developing an overly sweet tooth OR even worse thinking that if it isn’t covered in sugar and chocolate it’s not worth eating.
Does anyone else out there dread eating out in public with their toddler, or is your toddler doing exactly the same as Roo and therefore this is just yet more random but normal behaviour in their cycle of growing up!