How do you convince (or coerce) a stubborn 26 month old, who knows his mind and can very easily communicate his likes and dislikes that broccoli is yummy – even though most of us will concur it is not, but he isn’t to know that! He flat out refuses to open his mouth to taste it, judging it solely on appearance. At times I’ll tempt him by telling him carrots are the food of choice of his beloved dinosaurs, but not even that garners any success. Everyone loves Sweet Potato, and while I concede he’ll give it a go if its mashed and mixed with potato, don’t dare offer it up in boiled or roasted form or he will screams in disgust that I could even consider plating up such uninspiring fare.
And you can forget the old faithful mantra that oft gets trotted out at troublesome dinnertimes – telling him by devouring his vegies it will make him grow up big and strong is of no use as he could care less about his future physique.
Yes, we have resorted to “hiding” vegetables in any which way we can, but surely that’s just a hindrance to a long term solution? But for how long do I have to waste perfectly good (and usually expensive) vegies that are inevitably going to end up in the bin, instead of his stomach?
If he was allowed to survive on a dinner of sausages and chicken nuggets he’d be in cuisine heaven. And while I acknowledge his other meals are not quite the battle or bland affair (though I’d love it if he’d consider a variant to vegemite sandwiches come lunch time), he really is resistant about trying anything new. Unless of course you offer him a doughnut for the first time – see how quickly the baby seal scoffs that down. Yet, try to give him a cut of celery and hummus dip and he’ll have dismissed it quicker the Sri Lankan Bowlers are ripping through our current Aussie Cricket team.
Of course there is also the famed $64million dollar question as to why he will eat anything offered to him at day-care, yet refuses to show me the same leniency at home. And its not like they are the ones preparing the meals – they are all being cooked by me! But try giving him one of the stir-fry’s on a non day-care day for lunch he’ll either spit it out or flat out demand a vegemite sandwich instead – and wage toddler warfare on me until he wins.
Everyone tells me it’s just a phase. And it was heartening at the seminar to learn I am far from alone in living these trying food famine times. But when you have been waging this war for so long, and seemingly failing to make any significant advances on the enemy lines, it begins to feel like a stalemate has evolved. Yes, I admit I am winning some battles but I guess only time will tell when (or if!) I win the war.