I’M THE BOSS: Once in a while you’ll hit the jackpot, even if it’s a vegemite sandwich for dinner.
I’M THE BOSS: Once in a while you’ll hit the jackpot, even if it’s a vegemite sandwich for dinner. Leslie Banks

Food fight isn’t much fun

I ONCE read an article that called babies, toddlers and little people Tiny Life Terrorists.

I had a giggle to myself at the analogy.

Yes, they are very demanding and can strike fear into your heart at any given moment and they do (well my boys do) love destroying things.

But the one thing that rings very true, you can't negotiate with terrorists.

They can sense weakening willpower or fractured resolve.

They have a knack for telling when you have just had enough of whinging and crying and tantrums.

And how is it that they know when to break out the cuteness to tip you over the edge?

Saying no and being disciplined is the hardest part of being a parent.

I thought I had a really high threshold for resisting annoying behaviour, but it turns out it is barely a match for my kids.

The biggest problem we have in our house is the eating habits of Master H, who is almost three.

I used to do a little inward happy dance when other mothers bemoaned about their fussy eaters, because until the age two, Master H gobbled down whatever you put in front of him.

Then apparently overnight he learnt the phrases "That's a bit different", "I don't want that" and "No, I don't like it".

The "best" part of the daily struggle of trying to get him to eat is when his favourite food the night before, that he had to have more of, all of a sudden appears to taste like the most unpleasant thing on earth.

Then there was the phase where he would try and sneak things by us and throw them on the floor beside him, as if we wouldn't see it there (because obviously at two his reasoning skills leave a lot to be desired).

Bribery of a piece of bread for every three mouthfuls of dinner worked for a short time.

I am not ashamed to admit there was a few nights where bread was all he had for dinner. One night he had breakfast cereal because it was all we could convince him to eat.

We tried bribing him with dessert, as he loves his chocolate custard, but that didn't even work. He feels content to only have that on the rare occasion he does eat what is given to him.

I thought I had a really high threshold for resisting annoying behaviour, but it turns out it is barely a match for my kids.

We have employed the tactic of he only eats what is given to him and he goes hungry otherwise. It appears he is happy to go hungry. We make him sit at the table with us until we are finished. He squirms and complains, but still won't eat.

And it is not like he is not big on food. He must be going through a growth spurt at the moment, or maybe I am just adjusting to boys' eating habits, but "Mummy, I'm hungry" or "Mummy, I want something" make up for about every second sentence in his vocabulary.

One day this week he didn't even make it 30 minutes after breakfast before he was telling me he was hungry.

So I pulled the old "if you are really hungry you can have an orange" chestnut. Because he always says no to fruits that aren't bananas or grapes.

He told me he loved oranges (since when!) and ate the whole thing.

It has been a real struggle to come up with healthy snack ideas throughout the day, because if he is not going to eat dinner, he may as well eat well during the day.

So yes, he snacks more than he should, but I am having some success at limiting other snack foods (muesli bars, fruit bars etc) to just one on a good day, but trust me, they are not all good days.

And as much as I try and get him to stick to proper meal and snack times, the biggest part of me can't say no when he tells me he is hungry, which seems to be all day long.

Until it is dinner time of course.



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