I posted yesterday about trying to instill in my girls a gratitude for food, while not guilting them into eating more than their bellies really desire.  I’ll be honest, this has been a difficult challenge in our house.

I like the advice given by so many older women who have been there and done that.  If a stubborn child doesn’t want to eat their supper, save it for the morning.  Well, I have yet to read the contingency plan on that if the child continues to refuse to eat.  Each of my girls, on different occasions, has gone a full 24 hours with not eating for this reason.  What in the world?

Each time they pursue this marathon course of stubbornness, they literally make themselves sick.  Their bellies churn with hunger, but there is no food, and they end up vomiting the bile.  It’s horrible, I feel so bad, yet it’s silly because it’s self induced.  This has happened 2-3 times for each child.  And it’s not like we’re serving them frogs legs or something.  It is normal, delicious (at least we  think so) food. Sometimes it’s the oatmeal they turn their noses up to.  Or beans.  For one child anything green gets a thumbs down, and she has often announced, ‘I don’t like it’ to a new meal set before her based on the appearance, having never tasted, or even smelled the food.

There are few things more frustrating then having spent time preparing a meal for people who turn around and choose to not eat.

So here lies our endless dilemma.  How far to we carry the sentence of recycling their food?  And how do we get them to eat the food, out of gratitude for having any food, yet also encourage ‘food discernment’ (yes, I made that up), and not fall into the trap of indiscriminately eating anything and everything set before them because they ‘are supposed to’?

I have no answers, but would love to hear yours!