Persistence & Patience
Ah yes, the two Ps; easier said than done though when it comes to kids and mealtimes, right?! 🙈 Tensions can be high when we just want our kids to eat what we have prepared for them. I never expect my kids to eat something new on their plate the first time they see it (or even the 10th time!) and there is certain food that I don’t think I can ever see my kids eating and that is ok to have preferences, I certainly do! And my twins are only five years old, which I must remember at times! ☺️
I have mentioned before on here that my son was diagnosed with Selective Eating Disorder (or ARFID) when he was 2 years old and also oral aversion. He has come on so much and is a very happy little eater (he is unaware of his SED diagnosis), but he still struggles with strong smells, taking medicine and having any kind of lotion on his face. Even when his lips are so dry and cracked on this winter’s day, he can’t bear any kind of moisturiser on them. I find it distressing to see how distressed he is at times to be honest! He often gags at the sight and smells of certain food. I feel extremely lucky we saw an excellent dietician in the early days who taught me so much it completely changed my outlook on mealtimes forever. My son has an aversion to yoghurt, butter and anything creamy looking. But I have never stopped offering my son this type of food as I know taste buds are always changing and developing. It has also never been an issue in our house that he doesn’t like this food. When I offered him a flavoured yoghurt for the 200th time (I think it was!) this week and he actually ate it, it was hard not to shout from the rooftops about how proud I was of him but I knew it would have set up an expectation on him to eat it again and what would happen if he refused it? It seemed like too much pressure to make a big deal out of it.
My son may never want to try another yoghurt again and that’s ok. This is where my two friends, persistence and patience, come in 😂. Without them, this would not have happened.
One of my mealtime rules (for myself, not the kids) is this: I provide, my kids decide. Meaning it is my job to provide the food I wish my kids to eat, and it is my children’s job to decide what to eat from their plate and how much and so far, it’s working and making for very calm mealtimes.