Do you bribe your kids to eat?
Okay, so I know I am going to stir up some controversy here, but I thought I’d confess my own experience and ask you to do the same. No holding back here… Be honest…
We all know my 5 year old eats well. So well, that I don’t worry about her, but like any other kid, when she sees there is dessert in the house, she’s suddenly “done” with dinner. So with her, I have no problem saying, “eat your dinner first and then you can have dessert.” A mild bribe if you will.
With my 3 year old son, who does not eat well, I have been moved to desperation and have found myself at times saying, “okay if you eat just your peas, you can have this Swedish fish.” And then I catch myself and am horrified. But you moms of picky eaters know what I am talking about! We’ll try anything!
Incidentally, it doesn’t work. The picky eater does not get motivated by bribes. In fact, at that point it becomes a battle of wills, I find, and they hold out even more or throw a tantrum because all they want is the Swedish fish. I really shouldn’t even have the fish in the house.
Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say about my crime of passion:
“Don’t offer dessert as a reward. Withholding dessert sends the message that dessert is the best food, which may only increase your child’s desire for sweets. You might select one or two nights a week as dessert nights, and skip dessert the rest of the week. Or redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt or other healthy choices.”
I like the redefine dessert ideas. Here are some of Rachael’s recipes for desserts on the healthier side:
Alright, let me have it…