Getting kids to eat at dinner time can often be a struggle. Matt Rae and his partner found that sometimes it’s just a matter of psychology . . .
The little guy has been on a vegetarian crusade for a few months now. Sausages excluded. According to toddler logic, sausages are actually vegetables. Sure, I know you can get vegetarian sausages, but to be honest I prefer my meals newspaper free.
Anyway, we were eating dinner the other night and we got to the meat issue once again. I have to say I almost felt like I was being mocked. We had been cooking a boneless lamb roast in the BBQ for the last four hours, it was delicious. To us perhaps.
‘I don’t like the meat’
He says, before even having a bite. He is not usually a fussy eater by any means, but the additional chewing effort and texture of meat has just turned him off. Fair enough I guess. We are actually at a point where we allow him to chew pieces up, ‘turn them into sausage’ and spit them out. Bit of a compromise, but it is a start.
A few days earlier, I was explaining to food pyramid to him. Not to much success, but it’s better to start early right?
Went through a few foods he knew and explained where they fit. “You need to eat a balance of these because it’s good for you.” That kind of stuff.
Ok, back to the lamb. My partner had a burst of inspiration, and in that moment explained meat contained iron. The little guy has an obsession with superheroes at the moment, Ironman in particular.
Well, Ironman is made of iron. Meat has iron in it, if you want to be big and strong like Ironman, you should eat your meat.
Seemed like a valid enough idea. He took to it, kind of. We then went into a bit of a science lesson and why not?… Tony Stark would have been pleased had he been there.
I explain how iron is in a thing called the periodic table of elements, and they make up everything. But they are so small we can’t see them.
“They are like little tiny legos, everything is made of little elements, like legos.” My partner’s analogy was superb. 🙂
“But if you look really closely, you could see them”
He returns. Ok, we are going there. I then explain what a microscope is, and say maybe when he is a little older we can have a look at one. ‘Just like your toy pirate telescopes, but they look at little things instead.’
Don’t think we have won the meat battle, but the science crash course was good for a laugh. Who knows, he might absorb something. 🙂
Matt Rae writes on his experiences as a first time Dad and other hair-raising adventures at the unsimple life.