His Royal Highness

The other night, we had a battle in our house. Well, at our dinner table to be more precise. Who hasn’t had dinner table battles? The rule at our house is, you have to try everything at the table. You do not have to clean your plate, nor do you have to eat a daddy-size portion of something you hate- but you must eat a bite of whatever we are having.

I don’t make really nasty things- I don’t make my kids eat brussel sprouts, or beets or even lima beans. But peas? Fresh, plump and tasty peas? Not the canned, grey, ucky ones. Nice peas.

Back to my story: Broiled chicken, peas, and rice pilaf. I added applesauce to the kids plates. Okey dokey. We know Jeffrey doesn’t like peas, so I don’t make them all that often- but he has to try one. ONE pea. One. Yes, only one pea. For heaven’s sake, you can swallow it with milk and not even taste it- you can bury it in your applesauce and never know- trust me, this is what I did with my lima beans when I was a kid.

Nope. Not my pigheaded Monkey. After much crying and wailing and gnashing of teeth, my biggest Monkey decided he would rather miss family night, and go to bed, than eat that one small pea. One small pea. We are changing his name to Princess.

11 thoughts on “His Royal Highness

  1. If you know he doesn’t like peas, why do you continue to force them on him? Wouldn’t be in both of your best interests just to let the pea thing go? Thats my two cents, for what is worth.

  2. I’m a very picky eater, myself, so I’ve never forced my kids to eat stuff they don’t like. But then we all have sensory integration issues going on.

    I remember my parents forcing us to try spinach once. I think I tried it right away just to get it over with. My youngest brother refused for a really long time, and then finally tried a bite, and promptly threw up.

  3. It could be worse, my parents made us eat what was on our plate. All of it. One time my dad gave us liver. When I chewed it up and started to gag, he told me that if I threw it up he’d make me eat it again. Luckily my mom stepped in at that point.
    Thing 1 hated eggs regularly for about 6 months. I kept giving them to him and he eventually started eating them. Now he loves them.
    We have the one bite rule in our house too. We say “don’t knock it till you try it” and he’ll usually go for it without much fuss.
    I don’t think the peas are the issue. I think he just wants to prove that he has more control than you.

  4. I agree. If you know he doesn’t like something leave it at that. He tried it once already, doesn’t like it, now he’s done. When he’s older, he will like them. I HATED avocadoes when I was younger, now I love them.

  5. Maybe next time you should just serve the peas mixed in with the applesauce and call it a princess tapioca?

  6. Cheese melted over any vegetable makes it more desireable. We also loved green beans in a tomato soup sauce (just don’t add as much water as usual) growing up.

  7. We have trouble getting our 2 year old to eat much of anything right now. I’m not sure how we are going to get out of this stage. Like you we have the one bite rule. You never know when a kid will decide what they will eat and when. I laugh because just a year ago she would eat all vegetables and chicken. Now I can’t get her to eat any veggie except lima beans, and the only way I can get her to eat chicken is in chicken salad. Go figure?

  8. Kids go through phases of eating a lot and then not eating much. You know when they’re having a growth spurt because they’re eating a lot.

    I avoid power struggles whenever possible with my kids. Especially with my youngest, because he always cares more than I do, and ends up winning.

    My s-i-l gets into power struggles with her kids all the time and has this attitude of “I HAVE TO WIN” and I just don’t get it. Why stress over it?

  9. We don’t have battles over food. Ever. I just can’t do it. We do, however, have a rule that if you don’t eat your dinner, you can not have a PBJ right before bed. More than once J has insisted he is STARVING to death before bed, but invariably those are the nights he did not eat dinner. I don’t cook nasty stuff, either (although tonight we did have some pretty pathetic crab cakes–store bought, not homemade, and J opted out. I didn’t blame him!), so really he should at least have something at dinner. My big thing is that I hate kids just grazing between and after meals. If you eat, and are still hungry, well fine, let’s break out the PBJs. If you are just snacking on junk and then don’t eat dinner and are hungry an hour later, well, sucks to be you.

  10. My only advice is give them regular food from the beginning. No baby food at all, except maybe strained bananas. My kids ate everything because they started eating it as toddlers.

    Oh and peas can be a whole different animal when they’re frozen! Maybe he’ll like them that way instead.

    Food wars only make you crazy. My mom used to make us eat stuff for breakfast that we didn’t eat at dinner. So I never made my kids eat anything they decided they didn’t like.

    Meal time should be together time not control time.

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