Celeb's Kid Thinks Broccoli Is Dessert, Why Won't Ours Even Eat Dinner?

I just saw a hilarious status update on Facebook from my friend Karyn. The topic? Feeding her 19-month-old daughter Isabel. “Riding a wild bull without a bra would be easier & less painful than feeding a toddler dinner every night.” Ouch…but I couldn’t agree with Karyn more! These days, dinnertime with Mason makes me want to pull my hair out. And scream at the top of my lungs.

So it was a proverbial paper cut (doused with a spritz of lemon juice) when I went to pick up Mason tonight and his teacher raved about how well he’s been eating at school,”including his broccoli and carrots!” And that his behavior has been perfect. I was shocked. Not only has mealtime been h-ll  for us, Mason’s had temper tantrums every morning this week (plus Monday night). Why is it that things are so smooth at school but not at home? I mean, I love that he makes a good impression at school, but mama loves to see those smiles, too!

I stared at my sweet boy on the way home thinking about what the teacher said, and I randomly remembered a super annoying quote from Gisele Bundchen: “When Benjamin eats broccoli, he thinks it’s dessert!” (Her kid also learned to pee on the potty at 7-months-old, apparently.) I have no idea whether that’s really true–but can you imagine a non-celeb mom ever saying something like that? Sure, I’ve been judged for giving my kid animal crackers instead of broccoli for a snack, but even that mom didn’t call the green stuff dessert.

Is dinnertime with the kids driving you nuts? Does your kid think broccoli is dessert? Dish here!

Illustration: Mom trying to do it all via Roslen Mack/Shutterstock


3 thoughts on “Celeb's Kid Thinks Broccoli Is Dessert, Why Won't Ours Even Eat Dinner?

  1. The worst part about feeding my sweet little Oscar? When he looks right at me with a smile, proclaims, “done,” and spits out everything in his mouth. OY! It drives me nuts. I’ve tried saying, “no,” I’ve tried ignoring it…nothing seems to curb this annoying habit.
    Oh, and Gisele is full of beans. And broccoli.

  2. Rather than focusing on what our kids eat for dinner, we look at what they consume across breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. That approach means we don’t worry about the perfectly nutritious dinner and whether or not our toddlers will actually eat it. We instead focused on dinner as family time and ensuring that they eat enough so that they get a good night’s sleep.

    Here are some additional dinner time tricks that are usually working for us:

    * Read a book together at least for a few minutes before dinner time. This signals the transition from action to relaxation. We started doing this, because it was impossible to get a kicking toddler into a high chair. Don’t have time for a story? Take the time from dinner preparation by making a simpler meal.

    * Eat together and have fun! Nothing gets our kids to eat like trying food from their parents’ plate and sharing giggles.

    * Combine food they love with food they aren’t in love with yet. Extra helpings of the stuff they love are contingent on eating everything.

    * Whatever they throw off the table, they will cleanup themselves after dinner. Yes, it takes quite a bit of self-control not to get visibly frustrated, but shifting the focus from getting emotional to enforcing consequences has made them think twice before launching stuff.

    Again, toddlers will be toddlers, but by reframing what “dinner” means, we are enjoying dinner time so much more than before.

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