Pizza for Breakfast and Dessert First

Parents worry about what their children eat. Parents worry about how much their children eat. Food is a family issue and family topic and many times, a family dispute.  Food was a family dispute at our house when our children were growing up.

Our youngest daughter would only eat McDonald’s hamburgers plain (no mustard, ketchup or pickles) and vanilla yogurt.  I used to buy McDonald’s hamburgers by the dozen, freeze them, and microwave them for her one at a time.  They really tasted like cardboard.  She was our baby, independent and stubborn, and we were tired of fighting about food.  Our oldest daughter was always the good eater who tastes everything–typical of the oldest child.  Unlike our oldest daughter and me who love chocolate, our youngest is not a chocoholic.  She was twenty five years old when she first tasted a tomato.  I think I started to relax then.

However, when it comes to our grandchildren, food is not our problem and not a problem for us.

One of the first food tips I got from an experienced grandmother was that when grandchildren visit, feed them pizza for breakfast.   She said that pizza has all the food groups in one food and children will always eat pizza.  Therefore, as a grandma, I can have much joy at breakfast and the least responsibility.  Joy!  I freeze small pizza slices ready for my grandchildren’s visit.

Kids eating desert firstThe best food tip I got from an experienced grandmother was to feed your grandchildren dessert first.  Now, this was a little more difficult for me personally.  When I visit them at their house, I always bring M & Ms, but I do want the grandchildren to eat somewhat healthy when they visit my house, although all their parents might disagree that I do.  I got creative.  I found DIBS, the small vanilla ice cream pieces with a chocolate coating.  I could ration DIBS a few at a time for dessert first and control sweets somewhat for dessert first.

Before a meal for the grandchildren, I say dessert first!  I give each child five DIBS and then put their meal in front of them.  Miraculously, each child seems to finish every morsel on the plate.  Honestly, I still don’t get it.  A child who normally eat little eats everything.  It works!

One evening, our oldest daughter  was on the telephone bemoaning how our grandson was not eating his meal.  She said, I think I am going to give the children dessert first, because at your house they seem to eat their whole meal after you give them dessert first.  No, I said.  That is a grandma special thing.  You cannot steal dessert first.

I think what neither of us realized at the time was that I make everything and anything the grandchild wants to eat, when they want to eat it.  If they do not like something, they do not have to eat it at Grandma’s house.  I will substitute something else they want, even if it is cooking a second or third item.  After all, we have the time and inclination.  Parents are busy and preoccupied with working and raising a family.  Children seem to sense the tension and stress at mealtime with parents and a continuation of fun time at mealtime with grandparents.

At Grandma’s house, they know gratification of their needs is primary.  Dessert first works!  Really, it is grandchild first that works!

Joy,

Mema

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