Thursday, April 15, 2010

Excellence In Parenting

When I picked my daughter up from school recently, the teacher asked me to send more food in her lunchbox.

"She frequently complains of hunger during the day."

Suddenly, I know exactly what the teacher sees when she sees me: Joan Crawford.

Crap. Shoulder pads do nothing for me.

I have long believed that there are three ways to get a child to eat something:

  • frost it
  • put it in a bag with a toy
  • serve it at the end of a toothpick

Now, I'm a Good Parent, and Good Parents always pack nutritious foods that kids love, in ample quantities, for lunch. So you can imagine how surprised I was to learn that the child who was returning home daily with a half-full lunchbox was complaining of starvation to ... a kind woman who distributes snacks to children.

Clearly, there are many solutions to the problem I now face, but I think the key here is to recognize the newly discovered fourth way to get a child to eat:

  • have someone who isn't the child's mother serve it to them.

The goldfish crackers are - what, orange-er? - in the other lunchbox.


  1. This idea that food given by another other than your mother is the food you eat- this is 100% true. My daughter eats the daycare lady out of house and home, but me, she eats a cracker or two for me. Crazy!

  2. Good luck with that. I wish I had some tips but I'm not a parent. I have enough trouble getting my cat to eat!

  3. From a Winnicottian perspective, I believe that most children secretly believe their parents are out to poison them.


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