HOW TO: Get a 2-Year-Old to Eat Her Dinner

Alternate title: Kids Say the Darndest Things

My biggest struggle at any seated meal is getting my daughter to eat the food in front of her. After a few bites she declares that she wants something different to eat.

I combat the problem by breathing life into the food. Imagine beans, corn niblets or peas on our plates. I scoop one onto my fork and in a high pitched voice start saying:

"No! Don’t eat me! Don’t eat me!  Put me down! I’m afraid of heights! I don’t want to be eaten! Pick the other guys, not me! I want to live! Please! AHHHHHHHH!"  (gulp)

The dialogue changes with each piece of food. Sometimes beans plead for help from the other beans. Sometimes a piece of broccoli doesn’t want to go because it’s afraid of the dark. Sometimes a corn niblet tells me I have bad breath.

The one reoccurring theme with each piece of food is that it screams, "Don’t eat me!"

My daughter then scoops some food onto her fork and I speak on behalf of the helpless souls about to be chomped. Once in a while my daughter will say "Don’t eat me!," but for the most part I have to pull double-duty speaking for both of our plates.

Yesterday we were eating Mexican food when some pinto beans began screaming. My daughter scooped several beans onto her fork and said with a smile, "I’m eating a whole family!"

I don’t suppose you’ll believe me when I say I want to teach her to respect life in all its forms. Real life, I mean. Last week I taught her how to catch fairies and bite their heads off. (Hey now, I know what you’re thinking, but I *did* tell her to spit the heads out.)


One Response to “HOW TO: Get a 2-Year-Old to Eat Her Dinner”

  1. mimi smartypants says:

    And here I thought we were the only ones. My daughter’s food regularly shrieks in terror and she takes great pleasure in chomping it up and stifling its pathetic pleas. I’ll even do a “realistic” abrupt cut-off of the howling as it goes into her mouth. Good times.

    December 15th, 2006 at 6:18 am

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