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Let Them Eat Crackers: An Alternative Guide to Feeding Your Toddler for Moms Who Can't Even Anymore

What I am about to tell you just may change your life. It is a controversial approach and may cause you to incur criticism from those less enlightened - which is why this is just between you and me… what happens on Mommy’s Block Party stays on Mommy’s Block Party *makes serious eye contact with reader*. If you think you can handle it, read on…

When your two year old, three year old or let’s face it - any child between birth and probably 12 yrs old (I haven’t reached that phase yet but I assume they are just as terrible) - refuses to eat the nutritious and darn delicious meal that you have so lovingly prepared: Let them eat crackers. That’s all folks, goodnight! *waves and takes a bow*

Ok, for those of you who need a moment to process, here is how it breaks down...follow me here. First of all, when I say “crackers” I mean “whatever food item that your child insists on eating 24/7 that makes you worry that they are going to stunt their own growth or brain development by consuming such mass quantities of it”. So, crackers, macaroni and cheese, frozen chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly...you know what I’m talking about. We all know that kids, and who are we kidding, most humans,  have an insatiable appetite for junk food. And you can doctor it up a million ways to try to make it “healthy” only to find it tossed on the floor or hidden under a plate, ultimately your efforts disrespected and rejected because you had to go and mess with perfection. Worse, the arguing. I am personally tired of issuing empty threats that “they better eat one bite or else” at every meal. So here is what I am proposing: give them what they want and end the fighting and enjoy your meal times again. Easier said than done, you say? Read on.

I know that every Mommy gene in your entire body is rejecting this theory right now. *whispers* I feel it too. It’s against our very nature to allow children to get their way when it comes to dinnertime. And I am suggesting that this is what is keeping us trapped in an endless battle for control. You’re not giving up, they’re not giving up. It’s like Groundhog Day every day at the dinner table. Same song and dance. And ladies, I can’t even anymore. Let me paint you a picture:

It’s Monday night, you put your usual heroic effort into making dinner for your family. Heck, you even make something you will enjoy - something with asparagus. You don’t consult your children. You don’t mention dinner to your children. You set the table and serve yourself and your husband the awesome dinner you have prepared. You serve your child crackers on their favorite plate. You don’t say a word about trying the asparagus or they will go to their room for the rest of the night. Everyone is happy and there are no fights. Bath time and bedtime are not the train wreck of emotions that they normally are. You have a glass of wine and enjoy your night. The end.

Now, have I lost my mind? Maybe, but let’s stay on topic here. How could this possibly not end in child services coming to take your children, or your children never growing more than three feet tall and going blind because they have been deprived of essential nutrients and most importantly vegetables, you ask? Simple. It’s psychology 101. Remember the very first thing you learned about mind control as a kid? Reverse psychology. Mmmmhmmm that’s right folks, you’re going to turn those tables using a basic human fault: curiosity. Children are very smart. Even the little ones. They are going to think you have lost your mind and they are going to want to know why. Heck, they might even ask you why you fed them crackers. Your answer: because that’s what you like, right? I’m probably blowing your mind right now, I realize this, but something crazy just might happen when you try this approach: they might actually WANT to try something different. *gasps fill the room* I know, I know, it seems impossible. Let me just encourage you: it may take a week of this (or longer if you have the stubborn variety), but at some point, they are going to ask for something different to eat. And when they do, that’s when you tell them that they may have some of your food. Now the catch is this: you can’t be bothered to offer them a second alternative junk food. You’ve done your due diligence and caved into the crackers. Now, the only other thing to eat is the food that you prepared for actual dinner. Now it is up to them. The ball is in their court. They have to make the decision for themselves. After all, you’ve been nothing but reasonable *slyly smiles*.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got folks. Give it a try. I won’t tell anyone and hey, it just might be crazy enough to work.



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