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feeding your kids without losing your mind

The Power of Giving In


For weeks I’ve been trying to wean my little son off these scrumptious bagel crisps we buy at BJs. Because they’re made of bleached flour and are high in fat, I try and discourage him from eating them, even while I steal a couple myself every now and then.

He doesn’t give in easily, though. He’ll walk into the kitchen with his arms raised, crying “Mom, cracker … cracker.” At one point a couple of months ago, I decided to put my foot down. For a while, let him cry big, fat tears. Then he seemed to forget about them.

He remembered the bagel crisps “crackers” a couple of days ago during a very difficult dinner. He didn’t want anything I offered him — chicken, broccoli, a piece of ham, celery, strawberries, cheese, couscous. You name it he didn’t want it. He just wanted the crackers, and he screamed for them.
After a few strained minutes (during which my husband muttered about how difficult  it had become for us to eat a normal family meal), I decided to give in, or rather, to use the crackers as a negotiating tool. So while he nibbled on his cracker, I fed him chicken, broccoli, couscous and strawberries. I was surprised by how much he ate. And he ate only a couple of the bagel crisps.

All of which led me to think think that it isn’t such a bad idea to give in once in a while. In the larger scheme of things, what is some bleached flour and a little fat fat if the trade-off is a decent meal for your child. And your sanity, what!

This entry was posted on Friday, October 10th, 2008 at 8:00 am by Hema Easley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: chicken, couscous, crackers, strawberries




About this blog
You make it, they eat it, right?

As most parents soon discover, feeding a family is rarely that easy, whether its nursing a fussy newborn or trying to get a hot meal into a squirming toddler (or attempting both at the same time.) And that's not even the days when work runs late, the main course burns, or your adventurous little sushi eater announces from now on she will only eat food that is pink.

As parents ourselves, we've been there, done that, even learned a few tricks along the way. And we're pretty sure so have you. Maybe together we can make eating together as a family -- gulp! -- fun again.

My site was nominated for Best Parenting Blog!


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About the authors
Hema Easley Hema Easley has been a reporter for The Journal News since July 2002, first covering municipal government and then nonprofit agencies, women's issues and the South Asian and Muslim community in the Lower Hudson Valley. In her previous job, Hema was a correspondent for the Associated Press in South Asia. She lives with her husband and two sons in Orange County.
KatieKatie Ryan O'Connor, a Journal News editor and 35-year-old mother of three, never quite appreciated the work that went into feeding kids until she had to do it herself as a mother. If she had a food-and-kids philosophy it would be something like this: try your best to offer as much healthy food as possible, but sometimes fruits just have to be counted as vegetables and there are far worse things than chicken and spaghetti. Again.
TraceyTracey Princiotta, a 37-year-old mother of one, loves to cook, bake and eat, and is relieved that her son appears to be equally willing to chow down -- even if it's baby food and formula right now. Despite her husband's intense aversion to vegetables, she has high hopes of nurturing a true chowhound who will try everything at least once. And if all else fails, she's not above sneaking veggies into other foods.
Marcela Rojas Marcela Rojas has been a municipal reporter with The Journal News since January 2003. She is a native of Putnam County and grew up eating Peruvian food. She didn't realize until she was 13 that rice did not come with everyone's meal. After several years of living in Los Angeles -- where she grew a fondness for Thai food -- she returned to Putnam County where she now lives with her husband and daughter. Zyla (rhymes with Lilah) just turned 1 in March and, so far (her mother is pleased to note), loves to eat everything.
Swapna Venugopal Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, a Journal News reporter, started her career as a journalist in 1999 after graduating with a master's degree from New York University. Before joining the paper in 2006, Swapna worked as a municipal reporter for the Home News Tribune in New Jersey, and took a baby sabbatical to care for her two children, now ages 7 and 5. She has currently outsourced feeding her children and husband to her mother, who is visiting from India. Her friend and colleague Katie O'Connor, informs Swapna that she wouldn't mind being fed Indian food by her mother, too.
Randi Weiner Randi Weiner has been a reporter with The Journal News since 1989, having covered police, government and schools in Westchester and in Rockland. An Ohio native and 1976 graduate of Bowling Green State University, she worked for daily newspapers in Ohio and Michigan before moving east. She has tended bar and danced in a beledi troup and sat on the boards of two community theaters. She plays mandolin with the Shamrogues, Connecticuts largest Irish band. Randi lives in Connecticut with her husband and has three children.

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