As you may have noted, the last few days have been a bit of a feeding struggle with Henry. So, I decided to take a deep breath and re-examine the situation. From what I can see, Henry does really well with breakfast, and then from there the day seems to fall apart. Some days he eats lunch, some days he eats dinner, and some days he eats neither. He does tend to do a fair amount of snacking though. I like that he snacks because he shouldn't have to go too long without eating, but maybe the issue was that there was no actual snack time, and instead he was just getting snacks throughout the day. I also realized I had to just chill out a little - definitely easier said than done, but I can't create a stressful situation at meal times. If Henry doesn't want to eat, I need to just accept it and for my sanity, ignore it.
I decided to go with my new attitude starting last night at dinner. It was shabbos dinner, so challah was going to be all Henry wanted. I tried to give him a bit of the main course (cholent - a stew of beans, potatoes, and beef made in the crockpot) before we had the challah, but he didn't really want it. Instead of pleading with him (honestly, why do I do that - he's 16 months old and has no idea how to reason with me!), I let it go, and then let him have challah once we made the blessing over it. As usual, he had as much challah as he wanted (about 3 slices), but some of the pieces I dipped in the cholent to expose him to the flavor. Deciding to not let his refusal to eat other food bother me made dinner a much more pleasant experience.
Today we tried to also add in the set snack times. He had breakfast around 8AM, and then his first set snack around 10:30AM (a clementine and some Cheerios). Henry then took a nap, and when he woke up, he had lunch around 12:30. Lunch again was cholent, and this time he ate a real portion of it. My husband and I just kept looking at each other in amazement. After he ate most of the cholent, we then took out the challah and let him have some. And then the most amazing thing happened...even with all the challah on his tray, he took another bite of cholent!
After that amazing lunch, I didn't really care how dinner went. He sat down for a snack at his friend's house around 3:45, but didn't really eat anything. I also didn't really expect him to eat dinner. But, at 5:30, when he sat in his highchair, he ate almost 3 full slices of smoked turkey, half a banana, and a few pieces of cauliflower (I think the bites of cauliflower were by accident, but I'll take it!).
I don't know if it's the new schedule, my new attitude, or the fact that eventually Henry must get really hungry, but today was great. I know I can't expect this to happen everyday, but if Henry can just do this every few days, I think we'll be in great shape!
Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!