Keys to getting that kid to eat, and eat real good: scarcity and coursing-it-out

Pro tip: if the milkshake is too heavy for the child to hold while drinking, don't lessen the amount of milkshake, prop it up on something...

Pro tip: if the milkshake is too heavy for the child to hold while drinking, don’t lessen the amount of milkshake, prop it up on something…

As someone that literally just ate an entire tub of Trader Joe’s guacamole by myself, I am keenly aware that I am unqualified to give nutritional advice. That being said, I think I’m doing a pretty fine job of getting the kiddo both acclimated to new/different/interesting foods and giving her the right amount of it. I think.

She has moved into the Terrible Threes and generally has figured out how to be a total $hit sometimes, especially about food. She was so amazing as a two-year-old, completely willing to eat what the grown ups were eating and plenty of it. Now it has become a bit of a battle royal with the daily 6 pm rallying cry, “I want a burrito!” or “burrito. NOW. daddy!”

Who can fault the kid, the burrito is the most amazing super-food on earth, but if you eat one every day, inevitably you will become… well, I guess you’ll just become like 70% of the rest of the population, but that’s pretty gross.

We as parents walk a fine line between cajoling our kids to eat enough and keeping them from only eating utterly bland, terrible, terrible things that are only white, brown, and yellow. Like german food. Andie actually really loves salads and fresh vegetables and will eat them voraciously… as long as it is coursed out to her when she is super hungry.

These are the 2 keys to making sure your child eats diverse things: scarcity and multiple “courses”

1) Scarcity

Remember that last time YOU were really hungry and ate that entire tub of Trader Joe’s guacamole because it was easy and right in front of you and you were starving? Kids act the same way if they are really hungry. If you can stand them getting to this point of hunger, they’ll eat almost anything you put in front of them! Raw vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, oysters, any other strange delicacies that under normal hunger wouldn’t pass her lips. This will put your child on the path to not only a lifetime of healthy eating, but an appreciation for what’s (no matter what’s) put in front of them – which is just plain good manners anyone can appreciate.

2) Coursing it out…

This is deadly serious. Now, I’m not saying I don’t give her a small “burrito” with almost every meal, but I don’t put all the strange, exotic, and healthy foods in front of her with the one thing she’ll actually regularly eat. If she sees the burrito there, she’ll finish it and nothing else and then ask for more burrito. At that point I’ve lost, and don’t let anyone tell you that parenting is not a zero-sum game. So, like a fine restaurant, course-it-out. If you have to use the desert lure to get her to eat, then do so tactically and always say not until you finish the lutfiske.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps you get your kids to eat, and eat well. As always comments are highly encouraged below as I rarely know what I’m talking about.

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Father’s Day mea culpa from the world’s best daddy to his own daddy

I’m not going to see my daughter on father’s day this year. I agreed to this (why did I agree to this, again?) because my co-parenting relationship involves concessions, compromise, and trade-offs. Even though our agreement states that the other parent gets the kiddo on their own respective gender-based-hallmark-holiday, my thought at the time  was, we never really cared about Father’s Day with my dad, so why should my own Father’s Day be any different?

Growing up, my family never really emphasized gift-giving, and this spilled into general holiday apathy. Perhaps this started with my tearful acceptance of “the starter robe” (another story for another time) at a particularly unfun-for-everyone Christmas. This doesn’t mean we don’t all relish the opportunity to get together, but the Holiday itself is simply an excuse or vehicle (like eating crab or artichokes is a vehicle for eating mayo).

The infamous "starter robe" incident at Christmas one year seems to have derailed holiday spirit at the Taylor home. Photo courtesy: ChrisMRichards

The infamous “starter robe” incident at Christmas one year  (where I was certain the last gift was that Warriors starter jacket I wanted) seems to have derailed holiday spirit at the Taylor home.   Photo courtesy: ChrisMRichards

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