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The greatest daily challenge of a Mom: mealtime madness. To be more specific, the supper meltdown. There have been occasions when both sides have been close to tears at "The Battle of the Belly". It's a case of the bib versus the straight jacket.
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Before children, I thought emptying a jar of sauce into a pot was ”cooking” and popping food which came from a box into the oven was ”fine dining”. I once put a baguette into a microwave when it clearly said oven and nearly burned the apartment I was living in down.
Once I took on the mother role, I put the past behind me and I have become a fairly decent chef, if I do say so myself. I make things from scratch and I can be trusted to feed my family of five….if they will eat!
Now my greatest daily challenge is the mealtime madness. I will be more specific, the supper meltdown. When we give birth to these beautiful creatures they are handed to us hungry and we do our duty and feed them be it breast or bottle. They are ravenous and a regular pattern develops quiet quickly. We start them on solids which is nerve wracking but they generally eat what their given, generally. Then at around the eighteen month mark, it all starts to go a little “pear” shaped.
A bar has a”
happy hour”, in my house supper time is the “unhappy hour”. There have been
occasions when both sides have been close to tears at “The Battle of the
Belly”. It’s a case of the bib versus
We all know
Gordon Ramsey right? He is a world
famous Michelin starred chef, restaurant owner and T.V. personality. We watch him on Hell’s Kitchen and Master
Chef. As I tear my hair out trying to
get my kids to eat their supper I have often thought of setting Gordon with the
greatest challenge of his career yet, a T.V. show whereby he must feed this
difficult age group. Gordon, are you
cope with breakfast and lunch but supper oh supper, that word has greyed my
hair and left me bleary eyed. The only
thing that keeps me together is that my husband has a fabulous appetite and
yes, he eats his supper. There are days
when I feel totally deflated, I can’t keep up with the expectations as my role
encompasses so many aspects. I am
personal shopper, cook, server, kitchen porter, cleaner and complaints manager
to name but a few. The thing that really
gets me is that I serve very tough diners who don’t even tip!!!!!
I try my
hardest. I have bought the cookbooks
aimed at the little people. I try to buy
the best of ingredients. I aim to choose
a variety of meals. I have spent a lot
of time chopping and cooking and yet there are no guarantees they will eat my
creations. I have often picked random
recipes from my cookbook and done all of the above and they have refused all of
I am very concerned that my oldest will one
day turn into pasta and cheese. What do
you do when all your kids have very different tastes and most certainly do not
like the same thing? Of late I am
pleased to announce that there are a couple of meals which they will all eat
together. A slice of heaven for this
I have worked
hard to create home-made meals for my kids.
The alternative is to buy the ready-made chicken nuggets, fish sticks
etc. Why is it that they tend to prefer
the latter option? I think my kids think
that home-made is from the same family as poison.
Does “I don’t
want” or “I don’t like” sound familiar? They
haven’t actually tasted what is in front of them but on pure visuals they have
decided firmly it’s a no. Hmmm ok so I
don’t like the look of prawns and will never eat them, is this a case of the
pot calling the kettle black? My
daughter’s logic to refusal of things she doesn’t like is “nobody likes the
same thing”. Did I say this to her one
time, distracted, did I give her this ammunition, her own goal? She recently told a friend she loves
cucumber, really, cucumber, she had never had cucumber. I dutifully purchased this beautiful green
vegetable for her and let’s just say we wasted that cucumber. She does not like cucumber. On a positive note, she did try a minute bit.
I think I could
write a novel on this point alone. Why
does clean up takes the longest amount of time?
You can almost guarantee if you have mopped your floors there will be a
spillage within 12-24 hours. My life
would be easier if milk or juice could clean my floors, probably wouldn’t be
too good for the kids, perhaps strike that idea. In my house there is a clear division of
where food goes:
Wow, I am
feeling like a mathematical genius. In
our house, it is very common for the table and chairs to be covered in sticky
handprints, sometimes for longer than they should. It is not only the top of the table and
chairs which they attack but also the legs.
The hands versus
cutlery dilemma. When we had our first
child, it was definitely the latter. Third
child and the hands rule. My little guy
can feed himself whatever way he likes, in some respects sanity is more
important than cleanliness and table etiquette.
He will learn…..in time.
Going back to table etiquette, what is the
deal with blatantly pooping at the table, I know you are only a year old but
Over the years
there have been so many occasions where my children have literally wore their
food. My middle child in
particular. His head has been covered in
fish pie. His face smeared with
chocolate. His hair turned orange one
day – bean sauce being the culprit. My
youngest took his socks off at the table the other day and popped them into his
beans for flavouring. What is it about
Oh and then
there is Weetabix. Have you experienced
the Weetabix sneeze? You deserve a gold
medal if you have managed to avoid this one.
The Weetabix sneeze requirements are a child, a bowl of Weetabix and of
course a sneeze. Basically, you have
just gotten a spoonful of this sticky cereal to your child’s mouth and they
sneeze. This sticky sneeze splatters
both parent and child. I have been
caught out so many times. There should
be a law against it.
I have even worn
some of my kid’s food, new fashion statement?
I am sticking to that one, god I love a pun. You are just about to leave the house, hair
standing (as usual), hopefully properly dressed, and look down and there is
some concoction on your leggings. No
time to change!
I have played
the old” get them involved” card. We pop
on our aprons and chef hats (pull out all the stops). Recently we made a batch of scones and they
were happy to help but had no interest in them once cooked. Have you ever noticed that our little people
love “pretend” food, love “pretend” eating but give them the real deal and all
hell breaks loose?
Do you make
animal noises to get food from table to mouth? You have got to get creative in order to get
some of the good stuff into their bellies.
Last Christmas my then 2 year old had zilch interest in eating dinner
and I was at my wits end. He is slight
in stature and I was afraid he would waste away. My kids enjoy watching Dora. My husband used one of the characters from
Dora, Swiper the Fox, and said to our son “if you don’t eat your supper,
swiper will get it” and it worked. It can
still work now. Who knew?
“I am finished” they bellow. I shake them down. Check under plates and booster seats to
ensure they are actually finished. They
think they can fool this clever Momma.
the sake of sanity you have to leave the ranch and get fed and watered
elsewhere. I have had various different
experiences of eating out with our kids.
Nowadays the family friendly restaurants have good kid’s menus and
provide entertainment in the form of crayons and paper. We’ve had successful meals and not so
successful meals. If the food takes too
long, no amount of colouring will help.
Boredom sets in. Food arrives and
it is being fired on the table and floor.
When we go out we are generally given a nice quiet corner as far away
from regular folk as possible.
I have also taken
our kids to a restaurant where my daughter’s (then aged two) apple juice
arrived in a glass tumbler. We didn’t go
back there again.
Isn’t it funny
the way they will point blank refuse a good wholesome vegetable, however, will
open their mouths so wide you can see their tonsils at the sight of ice-cream! Is chocolate covered broccoli a thing of my future?
to becoming a Mom I would never ever had bribed someone to do something for
me. Then I had kids and it is bribery to
the last mouthful or whatever amount of spoonful’s I have negotiated.
were lucky enough to go to Mexico on an all-inclusive package this year. I loved the sun, weather, beach, people but
my favourite part was I didn’t need to cook for seven days and I didn’t hold a
I have wrote
this blog drawing from my own experiences, those of you whose kids EAT with
perfect table manners and whose washing machine is not constantly on, I commend
and envy you.
There are two things I say on a daily basis
I have twins...I appreciate her madness about meal time!
Posted by Heather A on Oct 1 '14, 11:16 a.m. |
| Flag as abuse
Hi Heather,Firstly thank you for taking the time out of your VERY busy day to read my first blog. Glad you related and enjoyed it.Lisa.
Posted by Lisa R on Oct 1 '14, 8:40 p.m. |
| Flag as abuse
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