Owen pushed my very last food button tonight. From now on he eats what we eat for dinner. And I predict he’ll go hungry for a few days.
That’s what I posted on Facebook after an extremely frustrating dinner. What happened? Well…as you all know, we’ve had issues with Owen and food since just about the time he started eating real food, but really about the last three years. We’ve tried SO many variations of feeding and mealtimes over the years that I’m honestly just at my limit.
As per our current normal dinner rules, all Owen has to do is eat a tiny piece of what we’re eating (there’s a promise we won’t give him something we know he hates or won’t like (like pasta salad or sushi)).
So tonight was grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, and garlic bread. I know he doesn’t love chicken but will eat it. I know he doesn’t really like broccoli but he has eaten his one piece before without too much issue. And I know he loves the bread. His “extra” favorite foods were his yogurt and fruit.
Of course he saves the broccoli until last so it’s cold. And then when we remind him he needs to take his bite, he whines and takes the minutest nibble ever (I think I saw a tiny green speck on his tongue). We remind him he needs to eat the whole bite (it’s only like a 1/2″ piece). We go through the same spiel about how it might not be his favorite food—or even one he kinda likes—but he needs to take his one bite because that’s our current deal. Then he whines that he doesn’t have any yogurt left to dip it in—and we tell him that’s why he should eat it first. He then proceeds to play with it to avoid eating it and drops it in his water.
Well, I’m condensing the story a bit, so by this time Tom and I are at our limit so we fish it out and and say he still needs to eat it. He throws a fit so we take away his video game privileges for a day. He keeps on and then loses video games for the rest of the week. He loves his weekend video game time with daddy, so that causes a tantrum and he says he’ll eat it. I say it’s too late—he had plenty of time to eat it before now.
Now, I normally never reverse a decision, but after some quick back-and-forth we said if he ate it, he’d just lose his game time tomorrow. He said okay, so we were nice and gave him a fresh, non-water-soaked piece. And you’d have thought we were asking him to eat dog crap for all the gagging and whining he was doing. There was more drama about the stupid piece of broccoli…and that was the final straw.
We had already had this talk (months ago) that he had to do the one-bite thing or else we were switching to the eat-what-we-eat plan. That he was getting older and mommy was tired of making multiple meals at each meal time and he was old enough now to eat what we were eating. So he had been warned it would come eventually…so it just happened a bit sooner than planned.
We told him there can be foods he absolutely hates and doesn’t want to eat—and we won’t make him eat those—but they’ll be limited to a small list. If he doesn’t eat what we’re eating, he’ll be hungry. Plain and simple.
Oh, and Katie will be following the same plan, too. I’ve been thinking about it, and I just can’t go through three more years of this with her. And since Owen is doing it, it makes perfect sense.
Tom and I still need to discuss the exact terms, but we can decide specifics as we go. All I know is it is not going to be fun.