...Continued from Part 1
The breaking point that lead me to Project Detox was the second day my husband left. Usually when my husband leaves, I don't even put up a fight for dinner. It's a meal that they like because I don't want to fight that battle alone. So the first meal looked like this:
Day 1: Breakfast: regular concessions- meaning I make what they order: a.k.a waffle house, mommy style
Lunch: normal convenient food for lunch- with plenty of concessions. I usually make what they kids request.
Dinner: pizza followed by smores.
Day 2 Breakfast: regular concessions for breakfast
Lunch: Mc Donald's chicken nuggets and fries- not a regular occurrence, but probably once or twice a month.
Dinner: tortellini and broccoli for, which I thought was a safe food until it was left untouched even after a full hour and half of a little boy sitting in front of his dinner plate.
At that point, I knew it was something I had done. I knew I had spoiled their appetite with too much convenience foods. Their taste buds had been spoiled to the point that they didn't even recognize a good meal when they saw one. What boggles my mind is how they would rather go hungry than eat the healthy food in front of them. Which is exactly what they have been doing since I stopped given them what they want. Going hungry. Amazingly they don't seem to mind all that much- so maybe they just aren't hungry enough?
After identifying the two main reasons why they don't eat the food in front of them, I decided to start what I call, Project Detox. I am detoxing them from convenience foods and foods that they normally would love to gobble down. Including sandwiches and bread. Some people think these are not healthy anyway, so I figure it can't be bad to leave them out all together if it's going to kick start the hunger gene in my kids. I know it's buried some place in their DNA!
Along with foods that they normally like, I'm trying not to give them any sugar. No juices, no chocolate milk, no cookies, crackers, or any snack foods laden with sugar. Sometimes I give them a snack between breakfast and lunch, but it's never anything more than a piece of fruit or a cheese stick. Once I gave them a snack before dinner. It was steamed broccoli with lemon. I think it fit well into the theme of Detox week!
However, right now the point is not how healthy the snack is. I just want get them hungry enough to eat their meals. So if it means skipping a snack, even though they may be hungry and it may be healthy, I am trying not to give it to them if I think they don't need it. I know it sounds harsh, and believe me I hate doing it, but I keep reminding myself that they are never going to eat their dinner if they don't experience true hunger!
We've been reading Farmer Boy and we're hearing about how Almanzo looks forward to his mom's cooking. There is nothing processed nor convenient about they way she cooks. It's honest, good food. It's healthy and hearty and that boy laps up every bite. He even looks forward to his mom's meals! He has a real appetite, which is something I don't know if my kids have. Reading Farmer boy has made me see how my situation is not normal. Kids should like the food put in front of them, or at least be hungry enough to eat it.
The other major component to Detox Week (or however long it takes) is to not give any concessions. After tortellini night, I gave the kids a long lecture about what the rest of the week's meals would be like. It went something like this: tough love, baby. You get what you get, and you don't pitch a fit.
Stay tuned for Part 3- The Hunger Saga Continues and New Food Choices? (with a question mark because I am confused).