For months DH and I have been engaged in food battles with Cameron. It was been a soul sucking experience that has resulted in parental disagreements, tears (on Cameron's part) and zero desire to approach the dinner table (all of us).
Part of the fault rests with us, I know. We can't get our crap together and have regular family dinners. Cameron does better with eating when we eat together but we typically serve something we know she will eat (pasta) and we have only been able to manage it 1-2 times a week. Even when we don't eat with her we are in the kitchen and usually at the table with her interacting and talking about our days.
I get it, I really do. Cameron is a picky eater. And I've struggled with food issues all my life so I can appreciate rejecting food for texture or appearance issues. But I want her to at least try the food before declaring she won't eat it. The crazy thing is that she eats a much wider variety of food at daycare but even if we serve her the same exact thing at home she rejects it. There are maybe 7-8 foods she will eat for dinner (aside from fruit). The lack of variety is frustrating and makes me feel like a parenting failure.
DH and I have been struggling with the appropriate tact to take in dealing with this issue. And it is an issue because instinctively Cameron knows that food equals control. Her rejection of new foods keeps us essentially fawning over her trying to get her to eat it. So my mindset now is that we just prepare the food for her (with 1 or 2 new foods mixed in with the standbys) give it to her and then refuse to engage. She doesn't eat it? Then it stays on her plate and she doesn't get dessert (we don't do dessert every night but have been using it as bribe lately which has been wildly unsuccessful). We haven't caved and cooked or given her alternate food in many months so that isn't a problem for us. It's more about curbing our impatience with Cameron's approach to food.
I would never punish Cameron for not eating because I know that leads to more food issues and frankly she is far too young for the whole "if you don't eat something then it's time for bed" type of discipline. But where do we go from here? Do we just grit our teeth and continue with the plan mentioned above? Are there other things you recommend we try?
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