From the time he started eating real food up until he was about three, Jack would happily eat his whatever veggies we put on his plate. Peas and corn (not actually a veggie, yes I know) were gone in a flash, and while green beans or carrots didn’t receive as warm a welcome, they would usually be eaten as well. And then he just stopped. Everything was horrible, peas were completely offensive, and he would throw charming fits of crying and whining whenever presented with them.
It was super fun.
Eventually I started giving him only tiny amounts that might not offend his delicate senses (the gagging whenever he tried to eat a pea), and the rule was he could eat what was on his plate or not, but he couldn’t complain or whine, and unless he ate it all he didn’t get dessert. This was primarily ineffectual, most likely due to a lack of any real enforcement. Bu then we struck upon the goldmine that is counting. You see, if you count his veggies as he eats them, he will keep going. Until they are all gone. Happily. Which is great because he is getting the vitamins and nutritional nonsense he needs, and there is no more arguing or cry baby at my table. And I can give him a normal, full size serving too, which makes me feel a little less like the worst mom ever at dinner time, even if I am serving them chicken nuggets for the third time this week.
The only drawback – the actual counting.
Have you counted to 100 lately? Cause I have, and it kind of blows. Jack insists on eating his peas one by one (and swallowing them whole), and in order to continue this wonderful dinnertime participation, I have to count them all, one by one. Not mind numbing AT ALL. And given my
usual current state of near total brain death (as evidenced by me typing that as bread death), I am pretty much unable to focus on anything but staring at him intently (wouldn’t want to miss a pea) and counting. So the other kids talking to me and asking for stuff gets fairly distracting. Not to mention they go pretty ignored for the duration of the vegetables.
But that’s okay. I’m hoping that the constant repetition of the numbers will help him with his own counting, and soon enough he’ll be able to do it all by himself, which will be nice. Especially since last night at the end of the meal Sophie asked me to count as she ate her peas.
One by one.