I was having lunch at Subway yesterday. It was interesting. M asked to have a smaller sandwich since the last two times we were there she couldn’t finish hers (6 inch) We ordered the kids’ sandwich which was perfect. She enjoyed picking her toppings on white bread, she had extra pickles, green peppers, lettuce, ham and cheese. She ate a few chips with water. We had had strawberries with whipped cream and angel food cake for a special Father’s Day breakfast
We are going to a new church and on the way there I said (I admit to trying to sweeten the deal of going to a new church on a sunny day…) “You’ll see your teacher Jenny, and then after church we can have the cookies or a cupcake and meet some new friends.” She replied, “I already had cake for breakfast. I had enough sweet stuff for today I think.” A statement that my four-year-old self would have found crazy! It’s interesting to me to see her be able to think about what she feels like eating and be very matter of fact about it. (Though this morning we had crying about why we were not having cake again for breakfast, “No, actually Mom, this is whining, not crying…”)
Another family was at Subway and it was painful to watch and listen to. Three boys- and every bite, every choice was argued, and counseled. First the argument for 9 grain bread, then trying to get some veggies on the subs, then the argument over the drink. (OK, chocolate milk) then over the chips, “You know you have to have baked chips, you can have baked Lays or Sun Chips…” Then the kids tried this one, “Mom, can we have cookies, it says they’re baked and fresh! That sounds good, right?” Mom shut them down on the cookies, “I know what you’re trying to do and it won’t work…” Then there was threatening over eating the sub (all three were white bread with turkey,) not just the chips and chocolate milk… Ugh. I felt bad for all of them, mom especially. I always have to stifle the urge to put my card or put a bookmark for Ellyn Satter’s, Child of Mine on the table. I have experienced feeding anxieties and am sure mom is not happy about how feeding feels.
It doesn’t have to be so hard, and kids will eat better if we let them do their jobs with feeding, stop pressuring and do our jobs with feeding. This Subway eaves-dropping ecperience seems pretty much the norm these days. Do you remember this much attention when we were kids?
On another note, I will be off for a workshop this week, so will be checking in only sporadically. I am getting some great feeding questions via email and blog and will check in with those in the coming weeks.
Kids are smart! Baked? What have your kids figured out? I remember a little girl I was seeing for rapid weight gain when I was in the clinic setting and practicing the standard medical model, and she said to her mom, “Mom, if we get that puppy I always wanted, I would be more active…” Pretty sad and smart.