Dinnertime Drama

My kids have always been pretty good eaters. Ava loved and ate a lot of different things as a baby and Binh, well, I think you could put ketchup on a shoe and set it on a plate in front of him and he’d eat it. When I think of the kids’ favorite meals, I think of 1)spaghetti (and really, who doesn’t love a plate of carbs?) and 2) baked fish with rice. I am telling this little back story to convey that, in general, we have peaceful and varied dinners. Until now…

I have no idea what has happened to our dinner time routine, but it now involves Ava crying and heaving about how she doesn’t like what we’re having and that she wants something else. Mind you, she starts this drama before I’ve even plated the food. She comes into the kitchen, takes a look at the food on the stove or in the oven, and starts in whining which quickly escalates to full-on drama of crying, squealing, and whining through all the tears that she “wants something else”. I swear, she’ll utter the phrase “I want something else” about 50 times in a row. Let me just say that I do not run a diner from my house so I will not be making the kids a different meal than what Ash and I are eating. I don’t make such gourmet, out-there dishes that I don’t think the kids can eat it. I mean, if I were fixing something really spicy or liver and onions or something, I would consider it, but we have pretty normal food most of the time. So anyway, during all the crying and drama, I’m trying to get dinner on the table, so I’m not exactly in a place to stop everything, but I end up telling her (read=escorting her) to her room until she can “find a happy face”. Ava will then come to the table all in sniffles telling me how she isn’t going to eat. I tell her that’s her choice and I hope she finds breakfast more enjoyable. I also let her know that she won’t be having any snacks before bed. My kids aren’t really big snackers anyway, but I just want her to know she’s not going to have popcorn or pretzels for dinner later. This whole ordeal usually ends up with her eating her food about halfway through our dinner time. Then, she’s back to her old self and fine for the rest of the night. Only one time has she not eaten at all and waited for breakfast to roll around before she ate again.

So my question is, what in the world is going on? Why the food drama suddenly? Tonight I made an herb roasted chicken with cheesy rice and broccoli. Now, I don’t make my kids eat everything on their plates and they don’t have to eat anything they don’t like. Binh, for instance, doesn’t like broccoli. I still put it on his plate every time we have it, but I always end up throwing his bit into the trash afterward. This is fine with me. I keep offering it because someday he may decide he likes it.

What I’m saying is, I’m not like some food Nazi, at least I don’t think so. Do any of you have dinner time drama at your house? What did you do to mitigate the problem?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sarah
    Apr 10, 2010 @ 01:09:25

    Ohh, something to look forward to. I always enjoy knowing these things before they happen.

    It sounds like you have a good routine down though. I am not a short order cook either, or a cook at all actually, but you are doing what I would do. I look forward to reading and hearing others comments on what they think.


  2. asmalltowndad
    Apr 12, 2010 @ 15:34:25

    I’m guessing because it has been awhile since I had little ones, If I remember correctly, my kids in the summer would complain about eating for two reasons. 1 they were to busy having to much fun and didn’t want to stop and come in to eat, or that they had been busy all day playing and were just flat out to tired to eat. How late are you eating? It seemed to get better if we ate earlier to where they weren’t as tired and also had time to go back outside after they ate to play some more. Hope this helps.
    If this doesn’t work, just chalk it up as kids trying to drive parents crazy, they’re good at that!


  3. Tracy
    Apr 12, 2010 @ 19:19:02

    Do you ever have them help you cook? For some reason my kids have really been wanting to help lately. No big deal – we had Tuna Helper the other night and Zoe poured in the noodles and Noah poured in the sauce. Whenever they get to help, they say that dinner is “delicious.”

    If that doesn’t work, I’ve got nothin’. Hopefully it’s just a stage. Out of the blue, Zoe has been crying when we put her to bed at night. She has always been an awesome sleeper, so we are perplexed and hoping that this too shall pass.


  4. Megan (Best of Fates)
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 16:45:40

    I have no idea what could cause such a sudden change, but it seems like you’re handling it perfectly. If she continues to eat her meal every night, I’d assume it’s a strange phase she’s going through, and that soon she’ll get back to normal.


  5. Shawn
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 13:15:39

    Give it a few weeks, tutu will be there! That is all I have to say on that.


  6. Karoliina
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 18:14:33

    Tinsae started eating really badly (read: very little) this winter (I’m tempted to use the word “past” when referring to “this winter”, but hmmm, can I really do that, when it’s still below freezing every morning??). We actually got really worried about her. In January, I had her weight checked an extra time at the pediatrician’s so we’d have “an official number” to refer to come her four year appointment. Then she had a really bad cold and literally didn’t eat in five days (she had two lollipops and maybe a piece of bread). She lost weight. BUT that kind of fixed the whole issue. She must have gotten hungry all of the sudden because now she’s having oatmeal with blueberries every morning (she refused to eat breakfast altogether for months) and clears her plate happily at every meal. Much better!


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