Monday, April 20, 2009

Bribery Works

One of my biggest parenting issues I had with Bradley was trying new foods. When he was an infant I made all of his baby food. I would steam, puree, mash everything from bananas to avocados. I would even make a sweet potato and lentil mash that he couldn't get enough of. I just thought this child was going to be the best eater and love all different types of food. This lasted for many months, until he was about 11 months old. Then he decided he didn't want any of my homemade, organic meals. He only wanted Ritz Crackers. I think there was one point where he lived on Ritz and formula for three weeks. I was so upset about it, but he would just throw such a fit and I was desperate for him to eat SOMETHING, ANYTHING!!

This picky-ness had followed into toddler hood. From that point on, Bradley dictated what he was going to eat. We were down to pretty much the following: peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt drinks, waffles, bagels, and the most important food group...chicken nuggets. I was finding myself cooking separate meals for Bradley, and I hated it. I decided last week, that if I could potty train this child at 2 years and 4 months, I was going to get him to eat better. My goal was just for him to at least try new foods, and eat some version of what we were eating.

On Monday I told him if he tried one of each thing on his plate he would get to watch ONE show on TV. He threw a massive fit, because on his plate was rotisserie chicken, strawberries, peas, and mac n' cheese. He was tantruming so bad, he asked Chris if he could go to time out. I think he knew that it would get him away from having to eat. Well, he finally decided to give it a try. He went around the plate and tried the chicken. He decided he liked it!! He ate it all! Then I told him the peas were green balls, and they were a hit too! He ate so much and did so well, he asked for more strawberries to eat while he watched his show. This was a HUGE breakthrough for us!! Since then he has eaten (and liked):

hot dogs
breaded chicken breast
more peas
ham and cheese croissants
cheese sticks

Cheers to bribery, Mickey Mouse, and many more happy, healthy meals at our house!


Lindsay said...

Yay Bradley! Aunt Lindsay is so proud of you!

Good job Clare! I know its tough to get them to try new things and to sit and be strong through the fit.. but you know it all to well they when they are hungry they will eat :-)

bellaguinness said...

Nice work, Mama!

amanda said...

yay for you mama!! and yay for bradley too :)

can't wait to hear what other yummy things are on the menu!

Amanda said...

Bribary can work wonders!

Amanda said...

Sorry, can't spell!

Susan said...

That's great Clare! Making them try it is often the biggest battle.
I hope you have many more successes and healthy meals.
Yay for bribery!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Everything is better with Mickey Mouse!

Yes... bribery pretty much works every time!

McMommy said...

I can SO relate!! Matty went through a phase where he would only eat food that was "white". I'm not kidding! Rice, white bread, mashed potatoes, and milk were the majority of his intake.

The good news is...they grow out of it! And it looks like Bradley is well on his way!

Christy said...

All I can say is WOW!

3 Peanuts said...

Great job Clare. You know we cook one dinner and either they eat it or they don't. I never have given them "kiddie foods". My kids eat everything. I always tell them...if they don't like this they can always eat at the next meal. They won't starve.

Krystyn said...

WTG, momma! Sometimes I think our kids just want us to demand more of them!

Heather T said...

Clare, I love that he actually asked to go to time out because he thought that eating food was more of a punishment! lol...give it a few years and he'll be eating foods you never dreamed he would touch! :)