Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sometimes parenting really requires you to be very present in the place that your children are at. And sometimes solving one dilemma simply brings up more. Naomi has not ever been a very adventurous eater. I guess she was more so as a baby but not terribly. There were always things I could not get ther to eat under any circumstances. Then of course she became a toddler and super picky. She would literally not eat any dinner if it was not plain enough for her and then she would fill up on breakfast. Recently, since she now understands the if...then... concept we introduced the fact that she had to taste a bite of everything in order to get dessert.
Well, that is still not a lot of vegetables in total. Plus I was having to listen to a lot of whining about how she wanted canded or cookies and so on. We had been reading a lot about nutrition and such and recently she seemed more interested in eating well, to the point of asking me if something was whole grain so she could eat it. So I decided to make her accountable for how she eats. If I can trust her to eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, then she can be in charge of how much candy she eats. Last week she really was very conscientious about eating vegetables at dinner time and fruit throughout the day. So she got her very own "sweetie collection" of which she is incredibly proud.
I think this is really a great solution for now because I want her to feel like she gets enough candy so she won't be trading her organic homemade peanut butter and (fruit juice sweetened) jam sandwiches for candy at school next year. I want her to learn to self regulate candy and sweet foods so she won't feel the need to pig out on them and such. I also want her to eat healthy foods and I think this reinforces the concept that we do get a treat as long as we eat healthily in general.
Hurray, victory right? Well, no... Naomi shares her sweetie collection generously and I am sure she will run out in a couple of days. So do I replenish it so she is not penalized for sharing, or do I let her run out since I want her to realize that candy and so on is still limited...