We have the same crock-pot cookbook, and my children LOVE the Presidential chili! I serve it at least once a month and there are never any leftovers. In fact, I’ve started serving it over rice to make it stretch a bit further.
It’s a favourite here, too. Not a chili, really, so much as a very savoury stew, but sooooo good!
What am I doing wrong? I feel like my kids would outright reject most of these things.
These things are met with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Rarely are they refused. Here’s the thing: my job is to prepare healthy, nourishing food at reasonable intervals. They get to choose whether to eat it, and how much they’ll eat. They can’t make me serve them other than what I determine is appropriate. I can’t make them eat what I serve.
So what do I do if a child outright refuses? I let them. A cheerful, “Oh, I guess you’re not hungry, then!” and I lift them down, no arguments, and send them on their way. Of course, they don’t usually mean they’re not hungry. Usually what they mean is “I’m hungry, but I don’t want this. I want something else.” However, that’s not an option, you see. So, yes, they may certainly choose to go hungry. That is within their control, and always an option.
What happens when they choose to go hungry? Nothing bad. They’re just hungry. And hungry is a reeeeally good motivator to eat that thing you weren’t so sure about… I will let them return to the table (though I generally make them wait a decent interval, at least half an hour) to try the refused food.
Or they can wait till the next food opportunity, when they’re given whatever’s on the menu for that meal or snack. However, and this is critical, I never, ever give them alternate choices. Their choice is “eat it or go hungry”. Most kids, when they truly understand this, will opt to at least try things. And as soon as they start trying things, they discover they like a lot of them!
I love your menu! I’m licensed and have to serve an alternate food if the child refuses. Because someone, somewhere, decided that young children really do know best…sigh.
I am appalled. That’s so bad for the children! Are we to let them choose to wear a swimsuit instead of their snowsuit when we go outside in the dead of winter? How does this work in practice for you? Do you have to keep giving alternates until they find something they’ll eat? What if all they want to eat are Twinkies?
A childcare provider is expected to be a superhuman mix of the Madonna and Mary Poppins, ever patient, loving, kind, always delighting in the sweetness of her charges. I don’t do such a bad job, all in all, and it’s far more likely the parents than the children who strain my sanity most days. But I’m here to tell you: It’s Not ALL Mary Poppins…
If you wish to contact me, my email is notmaryp at gmail dot com