Izzy's friend E. was visiting for lunch today. I was planning on making something but at the last moment, E.'s mom, A., decided to bring us a pizza from Franks (Mamma Mia), the best five dollar pizza around. Tastier than most of the local pizzas that are more than twice the price. But that is another story.
Izzy was so pleased with his pizza he ate two and a half slices, minus crust. E., on the other hand, only wanted the crust. In fact, at first she refused the pizza altogether. Yet A. did not suggest I offer anything else, nor did I plan to. She and I know that when children are hungry they will eat. Eventually E. wandered into the kitchen and had some crust and maybe a bit of the pizza.
After lunch, Izzy requested dessert, a pear. So I asked E. if she would like to have some too. She said yes. So I cut it up and gave each one a small plate.
Izzy started to gobble his while E. examined hers disdainfully.
"I don't want a pear. I want an apple."
I replied, "We are not serving apples."
Her mother added, "This pear looks juicy."
She hesitantly took a bite out of one slice, still insisting she didn't want pears. Suddenly, they were all gone and get this..she asked for more!!
What lesson is to be learned from this? Kids will often protest the foods that are offered to them, for a myriad of reasons. If you give in and offer substitutions they will begin to expect something else. They will be less inclined to eat what is put in front of them. And so a cycle begins.
It is best to establish eating rules early on. Children will realize they are not going to get anything else and they learn to eat and ENJOY what is put on the table.