Mealtime battles

I feel like every night, the dinner I’ve been longing for since my 2:30pm snack, is marred by a myriad of preschool avoidance strategies. Dinner is presented. Daddy inhales it and disappears back off to work. And I am left with the master of evasion!

  • I don’t like this (you loved it yesterday)
  • Is there a power cut (no, the tv is turned off whilst we eat)
  • Mummy, you’re my friend (oh, that old chestnut)
  • Mummy, I love you (pulling out the big guns)
  • Where’s my Hogwarts Express train? (SIT DOWN NOW)
  • Are you beating me up mummy? (You mean beating you… I was finished two hours ago my precious)
  • Can you feed me mummy? (Errr simple. No)
  • What ice cream will you have mummy? (I’m on @noom – I do not want for such things!)
  • Mummy. I need a poopy (OK, you win)

Every night. Endless delay tactics. I may as well serve his dinner cold.

Tonight I was done though. Enough going round in circles. Enough cajoling. Enough sapping my will to live and my attempt at mindful eating. It’s more like mindgame eating.

I delved in to my box of tricks and pulled out my trusty sand timer. The 10 minute one.

You have until the sand goes down to eat your dinner. If, and only if you’ve eaten enough, then you can have an ice lolly”

Yes. Yes. I am the mum who bribes her child to eat dinner with the lure of an ice-lolly for afters. Not only do I use this weapon, he’s also been trained up by his father to be the gopher who runs to the freezer to ferret the goodies back.

As for the timer? He only went and ate without too much discussion and diversion. Who wouldn’t want fish-fingers! Dinner from the gods! But I may have stumbled across a strategy that actually works!

He did make it to the freezer. He did get an ice lolly. Did he get one of the low sugar, yoghurt popsicles I’d bought him. No, the little blighter was only munching down on a Cornetto. A preschooler with sophisticated tastes. You win some…



  1. I definitely think E will be like this when she can verbalise more, for now, she just goes “No, no, no, yack!” I’ve sowed the seeds of bribery, but I also don’t want her to form negative food associations and eating habits! It’s a hard line to walk!


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