Well, if you’ve ever witnessed or experienced first hand a toddler/preschooler’s eating habits, you’ll be able to relate to this post. Before we go any further, I would like to clarify a few things:
- I didn’t want a picky eater (but I got one).
- I was one of those mothers who secretly scoffed other mothers who packed their kids’ lunches when they went somewhere for a meal. I thought to myself, “My kid will eat what’s offered; I certainly won’t be bringing along a special lunch.” Well, I’ve eaten my words time and again. Granted, our “special lunch” is usually a Cheez Whiz sandwich (or plain rice or plain spaghetti – other ‘shapes’ of pasta are unacceptable).
- I am (probably overly) obsessed with the obesity epidemic in our province/country/world.
Here is my current food philosophy/practice:
- Anything is acceptable food-wise in moderation (i.e. sweets, salty snacks, etc.).
- I don’t like to use food as a reward or a punishment. Remember, I said ‘I don’t like to’ … It doesn’t mean I don’t at times (potty training, for example).
- Some foods (like cookies) are treats, and treats have limits.
- Snacks are for when you’re hungry, not bored. Big M seems to think snacks and movies go together.
- You don’t have to clear your plate.
- You need to eat a reasonable amount of main course before you get dessert (pretty sure that is using food as a reward).
- And here’s my current practice to ward off some of the “need” for a snack right after a meal … I will save the leftover breakfast, lunch, or supper so if Big M is really hungry, she can go back and “finish” eating. I am pretty sure this makes me a meany mom (thought tonight, Big M claimed she was hungry, conveniently at bedtime, and asked for her supper leftovers).
- And for the wasting issue (another toddler/preschooler tendency) … I (sometimes) save snacks that Big M has asked for or taken. Next time she is “hungry,” she has to go back to that snack first. I am pretty sure that also qualifies me for the meany mom award.
I don’t think I ever anticipated how obsessed I would become with food and eating when I became a parent. How much? How often? What? Packing. Buying. Preparing. It never seems to end. I am curious to know what other moms out there do when it comes to food and toddlers/preschoolers.
Are there any other meanies out there or am I the only one?