Sunday, April 25, 2010

NO, I don't want that!

Ah, it’s a frustrating and worrisome time when children decide they don’t want to eat. I know with my own children, there was a time when one of them liked meat, the other liked potatoes and the other liked vegetables, so at least I didn’t have to fix more than one meal to get everyone to eat! On the other hand, maybe you had children that ate everything on their plate and you can’t relate to grandchildren not eating what they are given.

Picky-eaters are something you may have to deal with if you are taking care of your grandchildren for an extended period of time. Of course, they may not be picky eaters at all, but maybe you’re not feeding them things they are used to, or at a time they are used to. If little Johnny is too tired to eat or has never eaten what you are trying to give him, you likely won’t get the result you are looking for even if you’ve prepared what you think is the “perfect meal”. It’s always a good idea to consult with the parents on what the children like to eat and to know if they are on somewhat of a schedule for snacks/meals (as well as nap and bedtimes). They know their children best. In the meantime, you could look up some new recipes using the guidelines that the parents have given you of what the children like to eat. It may not work out though, and that's where having an alternate (quick) meal plan in mind is a good idea, or just make sure you have extra vegetables and side dishes available that you know the children like. Who knows though, your new recipe could be their new "favourite food"! I know when my children were growing up, I would have welcomed any new food ideas to try...

I know children won’t starve just because they don’t eat everything they are given all the time, but it still is a worry when it happens! If you are really concerned, call the parents and ask them what to do, otherwise, just do your best and let the parents know if you think the children didn't eat as much as they should have. It may not be a concern for them at all...but on the other hand, it might be.

In my case, my grandson has cystic fibrosis, so he does have to eat something within a certain time-limit of taking his enzymes pills or it will cause stomach irritation, constipation, etc. but you can’t force-feed children or rush them; they will eat when they are ready.

I certainly remember it being a frustrating time in my life when my children wouldn’t eat very much, but things worked out and they eventually started eating a full meal by themselves...

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