Food War

Published January 3, 2013 by clanofthesleepingbear

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The Food War with the 3 year-old continues. Thus far I don’t feel any of us have won a single battle. Last night’s battle was too horrible to re-tell. Tonight’s was less hideous only because I took a time out.
Several days ago I made pasta with pink vodka sauce (commercial sauce, so the alcohol is burned away before we get it). It was well received by everyone – both children heartily ate their dinners. Tonight I serve up the leftovers of that meal. S informs me “Ew! It’s gross!” before having a single bite, and then refuses to eat.
I won’t let her up from the table until she’s eaten so after a half hour she is bouncing around on her chair, looses her balance and falls backwards, pulling at the tablecloth, and everything goes down: the chair, her drink, her plate of food, her, and my tenuous grasp on sanity.
S gets banished to the 2nd floor and I clean up the mess. Eventually, she asks to come down to eat. After more fighting over the pasta I concede she can eat fruit instead and some level of peace is achieved.
I don’t want to encourage this refusal to eat the dinner I make. Allowing her to bypass the dinners she doesn’t like is a slippery slope. Sending her to bed without eating dinner sounds like abuse. I’ve tried to compromise by requiring she eat some of the food I make, and allowing her to fill up on fruit after that but it’s just escalated into an outright refusal to eat any dinner. Where do I draw the line?

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