Monday, December 27, 2010

Picky eater?

Today I made open top grilled veggie sandwiches for dinner, with yellow squash, sauteed onions and mushrooms, tomatoes and a little bit of spinach. Then I layered cheese sliced on top and toasted them. When we sat down to eat Bilal asked what was under the cheese, and I told him "Veggies".

"What kind of veggies?"

"Veggies." I figured we were in for a fight.

"No, what kind of veggies?"


"But I don't like squash!"

"Have you had a bite yet?"

"No, but I don't like squash!"

"Have a bite then tell me."

So he took a bite. "I don't like it!"

"Yes you do. Don't you remember, you told me it was your favorite veggie?" OK, that was a bit of an embellishment on my part, but he has eaten squash in the past and enjoyed it.

"I don't want it!"

"That's what you're getting for dinner, so you might as well eat it". I was ready for the fight too. Let me just say that Bilal is historically not a picky eater. He eats most vegetables (especially if he doesn't know what he's eating), does very well with meats and dairy, and loves almost any kind of fruit. Lately he has been saying "no" to anything you offer him, and after giving in to it a few times I decided to put my foot down. So today he was going to eat what Mama made.

He ate several more bites, with tears streaming down his face. By now I was starting to feel a bit guilty. I took out a teeny bit of squash that was visible under the cheese in the sandwich and, gave him the rest back. So he ate more, oblivious to the fact that he was also eating squash.  And when he was done there wasn't much of the sandwich left. Then after he was reassured he had had enough to eat he settled down. And I asked him, "If I told you I wouldn't make you another sandwich with squash in it would you tell me if you liked it?" And his response was "Yes".

"So you liked the squash?"


"So you shouldn't have made a fuss. Next time Mama makes squash don't make a fuss, OK? If you like it, you should eat it."

"OK, I will."

So all the whining was for nothing. I don't want to lie about what is in his food, but if I had told him it was fish he probably would have eaten it without a single complaint. I want him to eat a variety of foods and enjoy them, without having to conceal what he is eating. Now he is in this 'fake' picky eater stage. He refuses foods just for the heck of it. When coerced he will eat and enjoy, but not without a huge song and dance. What should I do with him??

Thank goodness his older siblings don't put up a fuss when it comes to eating (well, most of the time!)


Erin Marie said...

That actually sounds pretty good ... I might try my own grilled veggie sandwich one day ... so glad Bilal is thriving ... and just being a typical kid ;)

CityMom2 said...

Those veggies are gorgeous! I'm in mid-Missouri and we've a very slim selection of fresh veggies.
I am going to try your recipe...healthful eating in disguise!

Enjoyed reading you.

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