Get with the program!

Well, we've got the kids taking care of their responsibilities every day, without complaint. Now if we could only get Eli to eat!

Dessert is about to be added to the list of privileges that he has to earn. And the way he will earn it is by eating something (healthy) at dinner.

Tonight was a classic example of how things typically go. His dinner plate contained one piece of arugula, roughly three noodles and a piece of broccoli (with sauce), one grape tomato, one slice of apple, and about 8 peanuts.

He ate none of it. Not one bite. He prayed with us, sucked down his small cup of apple juice, and left the table.

I quit making special dishes or allowing junk food on dinner plates because I want all of us to eat the same healthy meal. We thought that Eli would surely come around and start eating after a few nights of going to bed without dinner.

Nope! It's been going on this way for at least a year. It's not uncommon for Eli to have a snack (maybe a cereal bar) around 3 p.m. and then not eat again until breakfast next morning. [sigh]

If taking away his dessert privilege doesn't work, then I don't know what we're going to do. You can't make a child eat. You can give all the consequences in the world, but that is one great area of control that a child always has.

As I sit here and think this through, I'm realizing that it could get real ugly around here before Eli finally starts eating good food. I can't just wait around for him to grow up and expand his diet. He needs good nutrition now.

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