You see, she is not happy about our new dinner time rule - she has to eat her dinner.
A couple of weeks ago we tried a timer method because when she does it, she dawdles. Not that she has to rush, but if she doesn't have the attention span or ability to sit in her seat for 45 minutes, then she needs to finish her dinner sooner. Unfortunately, that just resulted in her not eating more than a couple of bites for dinner in the 20-30 minutes allotted to her
The girl is tiny. I don't expect her to eat a huge plate of food. I've done the research and she gets about 1/2 cup of food at dinner. I've seen the girl eat a lot more than that when she wanted too, but I try to keep her portions reasonable, especially if it is a new food or one I know she isn't crazy about.
So now, after watching hours of Super Nanny on the DVR (remember, I'm a reality TV addict), I have decided to take Jo Frost's approach. That is why Charlotte is going to stay at the table until she either finishes her dinner (potato with veggies, ham, and cheese) or it is bed time (8 pm).
Our first attempt is not going well. She has already been at the table for 45 minutes and has another 30 to go before it will be time to go upstairs and get ready for bed. Super Nanny makes it look easy, but this is no picnic.
I don't think it is asking too much for her to eat a healthy, nutritious dinner. We've let her do as she pleases for so long, but unfortunately that has left her diet filled with little other than boxed mac & cheese, lunchables, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Oh, and yogurt with fruit. That last part isn't so bad, but her diet is no longer as well-rounded as it used to be and that has to be fixed.
I'd do the sneaky chef tricks but it is hard to sneak the veggies and fruit into her chosen foods. Fortunately, she is accustomed to whole grain bread for her sandwiches and pasta.
I've threatened to give it to her for her next meal, but she doesn't eat it the 2nd time it is heated. And by the 3rd time, most food is just gross and I can't make her eat it.
We've played games with our food, all sorts of games, to try and entice her to eat. But they only work so long as we are playing them. And that isn't reasonable.
Charlotte has helped me in the kitchen. I read that kids are more likely to eat their food if they help prepare it. Apparently, they haven't met Charlotte because that has not worked in the many, many times I've tried it.
I hope this doesn't take more than a night or two to work. If anyone else out that has a different idea... I'll be needing it after that. 90 minutes of food drama is almost more than I can bear.
(Oh, and on a side note... we are doing things different with Mary from the beginning. She happily ate her carrots, turkey, and wild rice for dinner.)