High Chair Wars

Don't you think I've had enough, Mommy?

To feed, or not to feed: that is the question. When do you stop trying to make an infant eat his breakfast?

Sometimes my little man shuts his mouth as tight as a pair of Jeggings so early in a meal that he can’t possibly be full. I know one Mommy who would simply stop feeding him at that point, and more than one who will break out the following tactics to force feed:

The Bait and Switch: My son won’t refuse his sippy cup, so I will hold it close to his mouth until he opens his steel trap enough for me to sneak in a spoonful. I reward him with a gratifying slurp as soon as the food disappears.

The Song and Dance: I reserve some of my best material and most outrageous dance moves for the kitchen floor. My son will break out into a belly laugh, and I ruin the moment by sliding in another mouthful of mush.

The Helpful Hand: My son is always eager to feed himself Cheerios, teething biscuits, toast, and fruit. He will be squirming in his chair and bellyaching in protest of his meal until I shake a Cheerios box. His face instantly brightens, his little fingers grab one out of my hand, and he opens right up. I will let him enjoy a few before getting down to business with the real food.

The Distraction: When all else fails, I will use a toy to capture his interest enough to beg cooperation. I use this tactic in particular very sparingly, as I do not want him to become accustomed to toys at mealtime.

What am I doing wrong? Should I stop feeding him when he says so, or when I say so? Do I need to try something new?

Chicken meatballs with no sauce.

If only feeding my son was as easy as feeding my family. I recently created a chicken meatball recipe that they tried without hesitation or objection–and they didn’t spit them back at me, either! They really loved these chicken meatballs…with or without sauce.

Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients

1 pound of ground chicken
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 onion sauteed in olive oil and one pat of butter
3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worchesterchire
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients together and form small meatballs by hand. Pan fry meatballs in a skillet generously covered with olive oil until golden brown. Transfer on to paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Serve chicken meatballs plain over buttered egg noodles, or with store-bought peanut sauce, or with the holy trinity of Campbells soups as a sauce (Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken, and Cream of Celery thinned out with some milk. Adding some Worchesterchire and some pepper and garlic powder to jazz it up). This is a very versatile recipe. The peanut sauce was my stepdaughter’s favorite, but my husband couldn’t choose between the two sauces. Enjoy!

Chicken meatballs with peanut sauce.

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