Any parent will vouch for the fact that food is serious business as far as kids go. Even before the little ones learn to open their mouth and say Ma and Pa, they learn to clench their teeth and refuse to open it to the next spoonful of baby food. More baby food has been spilled on mother’s dress and floor than has ever gone in to the tummy of a kid.
Those greasy patches you see on the walls of families with toddlers they started their journey in a perfect shape as nutrition for a baby. For some reason the baby who cannot even tell you she is ready to do poo poo, gets the smarts and energy to launch a missile of food from her mouth, even if your sofa ducks, your wall will face the onslaught bravely.
I have always wondered how come a less than year old baby gets the energy to launch this missile from her tiny mouth. May be NASA and ISRO should do some research on the same, they may be able to make a much more economical rocket to launch mission to mars.
But as always I digress and totally forget what I initially started this post for. As the girls are growing, dinner time is become a virtual war zone in our family. We did try re-engineering the dinner process, with some success. But in any house with kids, nothing is permanent and kids learn fast. Did somebody not say “The child is the father of the man?”
Kids soon learn to outmaneuver the grownups and can come up with their own set of rebuttals for parental tricks to feed them. So here is the latest game going on in our dinner table with the younger one. Only this is trying to include some nutrition for brain along with body.
Just assume you are watching this as a fly on wall in our home.
Mom: So Pinkette now you need to take up a bite from the round chapatti and dip it into yellow daal and chew it 15 times. Let us see if you can do it.
“Oh Mama it is so easy let me show you”
Mom: Great, now can you tell me which piece of Salad is good for your eyes? “The green cucumber or the orange carrot”
Mom! It is so simple, Orange carrot is good for my eyes it has got Vitamin A. See, I will eat it because I want to get rid of my specs.
Mom: Wonderful, now we have seven pieces of cucumber in the plate, you need to eat 3 of them and tell me how many will be left after that.
Only 4 are left now, because I ate 3 of them and Seven minus 3 is four. Simple.
I hope you have got a picture of what is happening here and those of you with kids between 2-5 must be familiar with these tactics that parents use to make sure the kids eat the necessary veggies and fruits. The only difference is that we are not trying to use tricks like
“Eat your curd otherwise Jhole wala baba will take you away”
While in an ideal world we should not be running after kids to finish their food, because if you think about it same kid finishes her lunch in school in flat 20 minute break with some time to play also. But at home because the conditioning has been done that mom/dad will run after her to finish her food she is just following that conditioning.
Only positive thing that I can see here is that instead of using this time to scare the kid, Sasha is using it to teach her a thing or two about maths and science. And since this is all a game for the kiddo she is thoroughly enjoying it. Only challenge is she will soon outgrow it and get bored and then we will have to look for some other game, not just to make her eat her food but also to make here study. But I guess that is the joy of parenting, you grow along with your kids.
What do you say? What tricks you use to feed the kids? Or are you like my grandmother who will fill the plate and once time is up your plate is gone! Would love to hear your views on the same.
Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.