Monday, March 30, 2009

Let's Play 3 More Bites!

Yes, 3 More Bites. The exciting hour-long (if you're lucky, usually ends up taking all evening) dinner game full of exciting prizes. Exciting if you are like me and consider my fabulous chocolate chip cheesecake an exciting prize. But sometimes even the promise of delicious desserts isn't enough to make a winner out of my children. They just don't seem to like to eat. Weird huh?

Well no, not really that weird as I may be partially responsible. I have always been a light eater. Don't get me wrong, I love food, but eating an entire meal has been one thing that I can rarely do. I know that portion control in this country is out of control and the rate that many Americans eat their food is downright alarming. Seriously, in the time it takes me to eat my salad or butter my roll, most everyone I know would be rummaging around for dessert or grabbing seconds. At home my slowness is not out of the ordinary because I am the mom and at dinner time that makes me the runner, so I'm always late to sit down after fetching milk and napkins and cleaning up spilt milk and retrieving more napkins. My slowness isn't limited to our house, it happens out at restaurants too. I confess, I am a slow eater, but then again I have never had a weight problem so it seems to be working for me.

I am afraid my children have caught my slow eating gene and it has morphed into an "I am so full, I can't take another bite gene." I just hope they pass it on to their kids so I can sit back and watch the bargaining. Oh yes the bargaining, apparently you've never dined with us. My brother calls it a 3 hour commitment, so seriously if I ever invite you to my house for dinner, be prepared, you'll be here a while. I may even refer you to this post before you may accept my invite.

It's not that my kids are overly picky eaters. Granted they refuse to eat fish and my husband's grandmother's cooking but I can't blame them, I do the same. Other than the aversion to fish and Grandma's mystery casserole, they are fairly adventurous eaters, more so than most kids their ages. I know this by the number of reject snacks I get back on snack day. What kid doesn't like bananas or veggie pizza? Almost all of the veggie pizza (the kind where you flatten out the tube crescent rolls bake it, slather on cream cheese then add fresh veggies to the top) came back in the container I sent, of course it came back to my house in horrible condition after riding around in my daughter's backpack for an hour, but I'm pretty sure it was in an edible state up until the bus ride home. Same with the bananas. I sent 18 half bananas (dipped in lemon juice so they wouldn't turn brown, thank you very much) and got 12 back. Is my math that bad or did my snacks get the thumbs down?. Anyhow, what I mean to say is that my kids don't have a problem with variety, just the volume.

Last night I didn't feel like cooking (yeah it happens to all of us) so to further irritate the devout Christians in my community I committed the ultimate sin and ordered a pizza on Sunday. Hey, they were open! I plopped one small piece on each of the girls' plates and instantly got the stink eye. They love pizza but still they complained. After Hubby and I were done and putting dinner away, they still had hardly touched their food. Then almost simultaneously they both asked "how many bites?" For the first round Hubby and I try to set the mark high with an answer of 7 or 8. As time goes on and I start to lose patience, they whittle me down to 3 bites. "But they better be good bites, no funny business!" If I'm lucky they'll finish their 3 bites, but more often than I'd like to admit, the girls are still sitting at the table when it's time to get ready for bed. Then never fail, they say they are hungry right after brushing their teeth. I can't win.

12 comments:

Kelly said...

My husband has food issues. If he was a girl they would say he has an eating disorder. It is way harder to teach someone to stop eating than it is to teach them to eat. I have spent nearly 9 years helping Aaron make healthy choices. It's an awful illness to live with (especially for the spouse HA). Eating is learned by example and you are doing a great thing for your girls, even if they torture you in the process. Actually, having a kid to worry about has been a big help for us. Aaron is always careful to be positive about food in his daughter's presence.

Such Lovely Freckles said...

I'm lucky to have two very good eaters. There is almost nothing they won't eat.
But, through some training, they have learned that if they don't eat at night, there won't be anything else. Speak, when I'm done eating, I give them about ten minutes to eat whatever they feel like eating. If they decide not to, they can take their plates to the sink. There will be no other dinner available. They can have an apple or a banana, but that's it.
It works... :)

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

The food battles never seem to end.

skyewriter said...

Uh, gene therapy for me, please Aliceson? Forget copyrighting your pictures (fabulous); copyright that gene, chicky!

My youngest nephew (7) will eat nothing aside from fresh strawberries and chicken fingers. Seriously. That's it. He even has to have exactly 13 strawberries...

Hmmm, rethinking the whole kids things now...

Pwn Star said...

OMG!

I'm the slowest eater ever too! I'd bet I'm even slower than you.

But, it's because I'm incredibly scared of choking. (Eh. Childhood trauma from choking on an ice cube).

:(

Wild Child said...

Yes, you should join our eating adventure in our house. It is a pleasure. My kids would have been two of the ones rejecting veggie pizza.

And the "I can't eat another bite" and then later, "I'm hungry" just before they go to bed. I sooo hear you on that.

Shady Lady said...

Well, you should come to my house. Meals do take anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on the food. And the foods Princess eats is very limited. My child can chew one bit of food for a good 5-20 minutes. I have no idea how she does it, but she does it.

Recently she has started telling us she's full at dinner time because she wants to play. Tonight I said that if she is going to try this little ploy every night (this was the fourth night in a row) that after dinner we'll just go to bed and skip playing. She ate most of her dinner tonight. Gasp!

Sidhe said...

I have a relatively good eater, actually the kid eats like it's going out of style but is extremely active and certainly not in danger of excess weight gain (particularly not if he has gotten lucky enough to get his body type genes from his father's family and not mine). There are a few foods that he will not eat though and prior to moving to Michigan we did the three bites with fairly good success now, however, the kid spends a lot of time with his great-grandparents who are more than willing to cater to his desires which makes the three bites at our house a torture fest. I sometimes feel like he's going to tell his great-grandma how utterly cruel I am to make him eat a bite of squash...

Aliceson said...

Wow! I guess I'm not the only one with slow eaters.

Missy said...

I have a split hand here. My oldest will try almost anything once. My youngest hates everything. Doesn't matter if we have had it a dozen times before and she liked it then, she hates it today.
I have a one bite rule. You must at least eat one bite before you decide you hate something. This usually is followed by youngest saying "oh, yeah, I do like this". But if it's not I have to announce, this is not a one woman short order kitchen. Eat it or wear it.

Funnyrunner said...

oh, for crying out loud. How can you have trouble finishing a meal? lol. God I love food. It's why I run!

My older son will eat ANYTHING - like the kid from the Life Cereal commercial of the 80s..(hey Mikey.. he likes it!). My 10-yr-old is a bit more finicky but not terrible. Bribery is good.

all this talk about food ... I think I'm gonna go get a piece of my now-13-year-old's birthday cake...

sheila said...

Wow. That's a long time to eat! lol. We eat, probably within a 1/2 hr. Sometimes quicker.

Maybe that's why we're all hungry again 2 hrs later. Hmmm, maybe you ARE on to something!