Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Great Scallop Debate

As I'm typing this, our 3yr old daughter is slouched down in her seat, at the table, all by herself, engaged in what we have now named, "The Great Scallop Debate". Both David & I like scallops, and also try and introduce new things to Kyra now and then, so she will have a more varied palate then just mac & cheese and peanut butter & honey--things she'd live on if she could.

So the other day David went grocery shopping and picked up these big beautiful scallops from the seafood department, and tonight I found a recipe for them. It turns out it was not one of our favorite scallop recipes, as the marinara sauce really overpowered the delicateness of the scallops. However, both my husband & I ate our fair share, and paired with green beans & pasta, it made a good dinner, at least from the adults' point of view.

Kyra, on the other hand, has refused to even try the scallops, and is saying, "I don't like them, I don't like scallops." And we're saying, "How do you know if you like them or not? You haven't even tried them. All you need to take is just one bite."

So now the scallops are cold, she sits alone at the table, and has been told there will be no getting up from the table until she takes one bite...She doesn't even need to eat the whole scallop, just one stinking bite!

I know when I was growing up, we always had to have what my parents called a "No thank-you" portion. Basically we had to at least try it. I also remember my sister trying to feed our cat her lima beans because she did not want to finish them. And I know all the parent guidebooks say don't make a big deal about food, because you will have kids with food issues when they grow up. And I know they also say pick your battles.

So here is a little snip-it of her pleading her case, and our responses:

Kyra: I don't want to eat all my dinner....Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, I don't want to eat all my dinner. I don't want to eat all my dinner, Mama.

Me: Just one bite of scallop, and you can be done.

David: Don't you want to read Curious George? Just eat one bite.

Kyra: MOMMY, are you listening to me? I didn't eat it. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy...

David: You don't have to finish it all, just one scallop.

Kyra: Mommy, Mommy, Mommy I don't want to eat all my scallops. Is there ONION in here? I don't like onions! May I please be excused?

Me: No, Kyra. Get back in your seat, and eat your one bite of scallop, and then you can be excused. Just one bite.

Kyra (getting down from the table): I'm done eating. I DO not like scallops! I'm not done eating, you can't eat ice cream if I'm not done.

Me: Get back in your seat, and eat your scallop bite. 1...2....

David: Ok, Kyra. I'll eat this half, and you eat the other half---just a little piece. If you eat this I'll get you that popsicle you wanted.

Okay! We now have progress. The scallop piece is in her mouth. Of course, the hysterical crying and moaning has also started--her modus operandi when she has something in her mouth she doesn't care for.

So, we sorta caved. We promised dessert if she would eat it, which is also a big no-no according to all the experts, but she ate the scallop!

Does anyone out there have a good tip or two for getting kids to eat things they're not really enthusiastic about? Would love to hear from you.

Take care friends!

P.S. Now she just said she loves scallops---Don't you just love 3 yr olds?!?!?


Katie said...

As you know, Morgan is such a non-eater. She is also very tiny so her non-eating bothers both Luke and I. About a month ago I decided I was done, fighting with her about eating. So the new rule at our house is if you don't' want to eat that's fine, they don't even have to try it. But if they decided they don't even want to try it, that is all they will be offered to eat for every meal until they try it. It has worked wonders for our house, most toddlers kids don't want to be eating dinner for breakfast. I have also read that it takes repetition for kids to want to try new food.