Harris doesn't like vegetables. I know that this is not necessarily a new phenomena in the toddler world, but I am just baffled. I did my research. I know about "making it fun" with "ants on a log" and fun little cookie cutter shapes. I know about the concept of hiding veggies in your child's smoothie. I think that the smoothie concept is brilliant in order to make sure they get their full 10,000 servings, but I still want my kid to know what a real vegetable tastes like. It has been a wretched struggle. To date, the only vegetable that Harris will eat willingly are carrots. And they have to be raw. Now, that is cause to celebrate, right? He LIKES a vegetable! That rocks! But I feel that his horizons need to be broadened a bit, don't you think? Well, I do.
So, I thought to myself that maybe I should try the "you don't get to eat anything until you eat your vegetables" trick. We tried for three nights in a row, to no avail. All three nights, Harris went to bed without a lick of dinner, and seemed perfectly content. I was baffled. 3 nights in a row. So then, I thought that it was time for a serious intervention. I was done messing around with 1 piddly meal. If I was going to do this, I had to do it hardcore. And I think you know where this is going...
No breakfast until you eat a vegetable.
No lunch until you eat a vegetable.
No dinner until you eat a vegetable.
So, for a moment, I second- guessed my decision to be a
jerk caring mother to my child. Then I did a quick search to make sure that I was not the first meanie caring mother to think of this.
"TIP # 3: They don't get anything else unless the vegetables are eaten first. You heard me. some call it bribery. Serve the vegetables and nothing else yet show them what else you are making (could include dessert) and they can have if they eat their vegetables. You may have to endure some screaming and crying, but remember, you are in control here. Do not give in. Your child will not starve to death I promise. Eventually they will get hungry enough to eat the vegetables, especially if they want to eat something else. It will only take perhaps 3 days to a week to get them to understand that their screaming will not get them what they want and that they will have to eat their vegetables."
The day started off okay. I told Harris that in order to get breakfast, he would have to try 1 edemame bean. God, what torture right?! Who doesn't like edemame? With a tiny salt? Yummy!
He wouldn't go near it to save his life. When I reminded him that he was not going to be able to eat anything until he tried it, he totally jived with it, and said "I know Ima, I have to eat my edamommy bean first!" Then he would scamper off and play.
Snack time rolled around... no beans...
Lunch time rolled around... no beans...
At about 3pm he got pretty whimpery. I couldn't blame him, the poor kid was hungry! So, I decided it was time to break out the options. I brought out some fresh cauliflower. I figured, he only likes carrots raw, maybe the white color and pleasant crunch will entice him! Not a chance. I brought out some sweet peas. He went running for the hills. Then Mindi made some TO DIE FOR creamed spinach, and he was DONE with all of this vegetable crap.
Look at what he was up against! For God's sake! 1 Damn soybean! 3 TINY PEAS! 1 minuscule chunk of cauliflower, and one tiny spoon of spinach! Look at the horror on his face!
He sat there, watching the 3 of us eat. He cried. I felt a little quivery in my chin. My eye sockets were burning. But what could I do? Rules are rules. AND, the article above did say that he wouldn't starve to death! *Sigh*
The pizza that we made had spinach on the crust. In the olden days, I would not have mentioned it, and hoped that he wouldn't notice. This time, I made a show of it. He was, after all, eyeballing his pizza desperately, and I needed him to know that there was spinach on it. He said he wanted it. I gave him a tiny slice.
He was in heaven.
I was relieved.
"Good job Harris! See? Spinach is yummy! Now try some creamed spinach!" More tears... bring on the waterworks.
So then, with the help of Harris, we came up with this idea- the "plop on top":
And down the hatch it went. I managed to convince him that since a little tiny bit of spinach was good, a bit more on each piece was even better! He agreed as he gobbled down every last bit of his cheese, sausage, and spinach pizza.
Then he had a piece of "neatloaf" (Mindi's AWESOME vegetarian meatloaf), an apple and a bowl of ice cream. He was making up for lost time for sure.
Now, I wish that I could say that we made it over a hump tonight. Surely, I had considered previously that by incorporating these veggies into dishes that he likes, we could potentially have better luck. However, while this may seem like a no-brainer to many, we are feeding a boy who, while he loves the neatloaf with a passion, if he sees the smallest bit of bell pepper inside will pretty much refuse to eat it. I figured that by dropping a load of spinach on top of his beloved pizza, I was simply giving the dinner a death sentence. I am glad that I was proved wrong.
My hope is that I won't have to starve him all day in order to get him to try something new. Besides what I mentioned above, does anyone else have any tips from the trenches? Any similar stories? Any other
MEAN caring mothers out there?
Am I going to get a visit from CPS for this?
To Be Continued...