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December 9, 2010

I Always Knew Dessert was Evil

The girls are no strangers to sugar. On a nice afternoon, I love to take them to the yogurt place for a few spoons of frozen goodness. Or I’ll gladly share with them a couple of bites of a cookie or cake I’ve made. I even let them sample a Kit Kat bar from their Halloween basket (which they scoffed, by the way!).

I have no problem with a sweet bite here or there. I don’t position it as a “treat” per se; I just matter-of-factly offer it to the girls once or twice a week at random. But dessert has never been a standard component of a meal or a day.

At 23 months old, I decided it was finally time I put aside my mess-ophobia and work with the girls on using spoons. I wanted to entice them with something they’d really want to work for, so I gave them each a small bowl of strawberry yogurt (dessert, some might call it) after supper one night last week.

The first night was pretty messy, but they loved the yogurt, and they were definitely motivated to try, try, try again.

The second night, I again gave them yogurt and a spoon, and they did a little better.

By the third night, they were clearly looking forward to the yogurt, asking for it at the beginning of supper. And on a mess-note, I could walk away to grab a paper towel without fear of spoons flying. I was feeling pretty good.

Yesterday, the girls asked for yogurt at BREAKFAST. I told them they could have yogurt AFTER supper. They accepted that…until supper rolled around.

I put some scrumptious chicken on their trays, chicken that they normally devour. Baby B may have taken a couple of bites, but Baby A took one look and whined, “All done!

Breathing deeply, I went ahead and served up some green beans, a perennial favorite. “All done!” Baby A cried, without so much as a bite.

Breathing even more deeply, I served the girls their fruit. They ate their blackberries and demanded yogurt.

I told the girls we weren’t having yogurt that evening. I offered them their chicken and green beans. When they refused, I took them out of their highchairs and put them in the den to play.

They were not happy.

Every five minutes or so, I offered them their chicken and green beans. After about 15 minutes, they finally relented and sat down to eat the rest of their supper, and all was well with the world.

I think I’m going to lay off the yogurt for a few more days. I hate the thought of that seeming to be their “motivation” to get through the day…the promise of what seems like a sweet treat at the finish line.

I have long thought that dessert was evil, and this just proves it. They’ll just have to learn to eat from a spoon with oatmeal and creamed spinach.


Rebecca said...

Dessert is the devil in this house too, but for some reason, the Crazies never remember it until I mention it. Maybe that's b/c I don't offer it at every meals. I have a tip for the mess though...get the tubes and freeze them. I cut them in half and then they're much easier for them to handle...unless you're like Hailey who can't stand the cold and it takes ten years for her to finish. Ugh!

MultipleMum said...

Uh oh! Sounds like you created a monster (or two) right there. It is so hard to know how to handle the whole diet thing isn't it? With my two they have been exposed way too early with the sugar thing (thanks to their brothers) so I have had none of this careful planning. I could learn a thing or two from you :)

reanbean said...

Too funny! You are so much more health conscious than I am. When I saw dessert in the title and then read further to read that you were wanting them to learn to use spoons, I was totally thinking pudding! My guys love yogurt (greek style with fruit) and eat it for breakfast 3-5 times a week along with cereal or toast or pancakes, etc. They eat so much yogurt, we buy it in bulk at our wholesale store, and it always gets eaten before the expiration date.

Side note: my guys weren't fans of Kit Kat either. More for me! :o)

Deanna said...

We buy yogurt in bulk too. It was one of the first 'solids' I introduced to the girls, and they have loved it ever since. They used to eat it about once a day, either for breakfast or after supper. Now we are down to a few times a week, mostly because I don't want to fight the 'who's going to hold the spoon' battle!

The good side is that yogurt is packed with protein and calcium, so it's not all dessert. That's why we do it for breakfast a girls don't eat eggs or a lot of other protein-rich foods, so the yogurt helps them stay full longer.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Too funny!

Mine eat plain, unsweetened yoghurt only. They don't like sweetened. (actually I haven't tried again since they were 10 months old) Interesting story - when I was pregnant I craved plain, unsweetened yoghurt. It tasted like the best thing since sliced bread :) And the babies are like me - they will ALWAYS eat yoghurt. When they don't, I know they're sick.

Kendra's started whining because she wants to feed herself with a spoon. or a fork. So I've started humouring her. Very cute but oh so very messy