Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finish your dinner

I'm really ambivalent about food.

I don't have good eating habits, far too much junk, and neither does DH. I'd love, love, love to pass on better habits to the girls, but I'm not sure how so it makes me uptight.

I'm probably middle of the road on food choices - some would be horrified, some would consider me a food nazi. But I also know that we all tend to think we're better than we are, especially when it isn't something we're an expert in, so I have this nagging suspicion I'm not really that good.

And then it gets more complicated!

I don't like the idea of forcing a child to finish their dinner. I figure she has a better idea of how hungry she is than I do. At the same time, Widget's track record is not that great - she doesn't eat when she's hungry, but will get rattier and rattier until we make her eat, then she feels better. So while I love the idea of her self-regulating, she doesn't do it and I don't know how to teach her. This means I'm torn at dinnertime - I want her to just eat until she's full, but I know it's a long time until breakfast.

Then there's dessert. We never had it growing up, so it would never occur to me to tell someone to finish their dinner so they can have dessert. But DH does it all the time. It drives me mad, but I'm not going to contradict him in front of the kids. And given how well Midget sleeps it's a good night if we get 10 minutes without them, so it's not something I've remembered to talk to him about.

Now after 3 years of Widget happily eating foods that are mostly mixed together, she has suddenly decided she wants to see each individual ingredient. It's really been coming on for a long time, but we've been resisting. Not on purpose, but it's taking a bit of adjusting to change our cooking habits so everything can be put on the plate separately.

So I don't know whether she happily ate dinner tonight because we remembered to separate it all, or because she knew Daddy had some icecream.

This requires more work.

1 comment:

Perfect Mum said...

Yes it's a funny one...this whole food thing. We were brought up to finish every last grain on our plates; we were never allowed to serve ourselves, and dessert was conditional upon absolute consumption of one's dinner. Now, as a child who absolutely DETESTED rice, and growing up in an Indian family, my childhood memories are a tad unpleasant to the say the least! Needless to say, I WON'T be doing things the way my parents did...problem is, I still haven't quite worked out what is the best way yet...