kids eats · parenting

Food for thought

Mumm mumm time!

Last week after dinner (which was after swimming), I felt such an overwhelming sense of relief. It was like dinner was overwhelming chaos, and once everyone was fed and watered, there was calm again.

Recently I was quite interested when I saw an article in Simply Her (sorry there isn’t a link to the article or their web page because it hasn’t been updated since their May 2011 issue. Fail much?) about places to bring your kids. Except the writer has a 12-year old daughter. Yeah, like that’s a big challenge. Try it with 2 kids under 4, I dare ya.

And last week I came across this article in Epicure, which talked about children dining in restaurants, with several tips on how to get them more aquainted with real food and behaving in restaurants. Yeah right! The thing is, kids will be kids, and too much pressurising will just turn them the other way. Some kids, like our Abacus, eventually came around and is very willing to try almost everything (including trying to eat lots of inanimate and inedible toys), but is still rather picky about what he’ll eat from meal to meal. He does, however, always make a beeline for the table whenever meals are served, which I find completely adorable, even if it turns into me rolling my eyes moments later when he purses his lips and refuses entry to anything.

With Mittens, if he’s interested in the food, mealtimes can be rather pleasant as he generally likes to eat and will feed himself when we’re out (this afternoon he walloped a whole bowl of bak chor mee), but Abacus is more fidgety, always wanting to be on the move (I think this is why he started walking at 11months despite being so hefty), so eating out with both of them can sometimes be quite an exhausting feat. With Abacus, I’ve had to do all that I don’t believe in – using the TV and iPhones/iPads as a distraction, and sometimes stuffing food into his mouth as he’s running about the living room. Sometimes we even have to use our hands because he’s more receptive to that than with cutlery. Sheesh!

With Mittens it was much easier. He’d sit and stay focussed on his food, and we’d close two eyes while wincing if he played with the food. That was when he was at Mama’s house. When he began to spend more time at home with the ILs, where we lived until he was three, mealtimes were always in front of the tv, so now he’s also a little accustomed to it.

I do try, but sometimes it’s just too

exhausting to entertain the boys during meals without the TV at home. I’m still trying every week though, and hopefully one day, maybe when they’re older, they can sit down with me (the hubbs usually gets back later) and we can all have a nice meal together.

p.s. I also agree with the article that the offerings masquerading as food in restaurants children’s menus can definitely be improved upon. If I wanted nuggets and fries, I’d go to the place which makes really good ones much cheaper, also known as the Golden Arches. I also think that even if they don’t eat it, they should be offered greens or meals which are more balanced.

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