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April 12, 2011

Alistair has become a bit of a fussy eater lately.  Not sure why, really.  We haven’t radically changed our diet or anything.  Maybe it’s just the age?  Sometimes I think it’s less about the food than it is about testing his limits.  Or that he’s more interested in whatever he’s doing just before dinner, and resents having to stop.  I dunno.

But more and more often dinner becomes a battle of wills:  “I don’t like it” and “I’m not hungry” and “I don’t want it”.

Our usual tactic is to negotiate a compromise – “eat five more bites” or “you have to at least try it” – or a downright ultimatum “you eat that, or you go to bed”.  (He only opted for bed once)

Sometimes we’ll start a conversation and pique his interest, and before he realizes it, he’s cleared his plate.

Very VERY rarely (like, once a month), we’ll break down and make him a sandwich instead.

At any rate, dinner almost always involves a struggle lately, and by the end of the day the last thing I need to hear is whingeing and whining.  So this week we’re trying something new.

I think I’ve talked about my weekly dinner and grocery strategies before… anyway, this week I added a new feature:  Alistair’s Pick of the Week.  When I’m planning things on Saturday morning I let him choose the menu for dinner one night a week (Tuesdays, since that’s my work-at-home day), and in return he doesn’t complain about dinner the other nights.

So tonight is his first pick.  It’s Pretzel-Crusted Chicken, with broccoli and fries on the side.

We talked about it yesterday, so I know he hasn’t forgotten about the plan.  Nonetheless, we’ll see if he eats without complaint tonight.  Or tomorrow night.

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