Becks Kao Ben Kao Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up Mommy guilt The Kao Kids

Mealtime woes: finding new ways to win this war

February 7, 2013

I’m officially raising the white flag in the battle of wills at mealtimes. You see, despite my efforts in making things like these…

More pretty food

…the kids still aren’t very keen to eat or feed themselves. They don’t want to sit at the dinner table and finish their food. They want to play and have me feed them while they are at it. I’ve compromised my standards of table etiquette and manners. For a while now, I’ve stopped making bentos (they didn’t care much for it anyway!) and I’ve allowed them to play with their Lego Duplo every evening while I sit next to them and feed them.

Because they run around with the Lego they construct, I’ve found it really tiring to feed them. Dinner can last as long as an hour. I’m sure if I ran along and chased them, it would take less than that but I’m too lazy and I refuse to set a precedence for that. Instead I’ve settled for the ‘you come for your next mouthful to where I’m sitting when you’re done chewing’ rule.

So I’ve restrategised to minimise my anguish at dinner time for now just so we can get through this. So yes, *gasp*… I’ve turned on the tv and am allowing tv time during dinner time. One episode of Word World every evening. For now.

Ben and Becks and TV

So far, they’re not gagging and fussing, and with their eyes peeled to the tv screen, they hardly even care what they are eating. I get to sit down without them running around and finish my job of feeding in about 30 minutes. I’ve also managed to shove a lot more “unpleasant” Chinese food into their mouths – things that they dislike – like the luffa, beef stew and chicken. Plus, they are learning how to spell watching the show.

But it’s not a strategy I’m comfortable with and I would be rethinking it as soon as the stay-home gig kicks in in March this year. Research has shown that TV interferes with the natural cues children’s bodies send them about whether they are full, and can lead them to overeat or undereat (Source:

I may have lost this battle, but the war ain’t over yet.

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  • Reply Eileen February 7, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Hang in there mummy Kao, it will get better and better.. I had my terrible meal time when my kids between 2-4yo. U can hear me saying ‘Bite n swallow NOW’ everytime… sign.. Thank God its over… They can eat independently after 4yo.

    • Reply MotherKao February 7, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Thanks for your encouragment, Eileen! 🙂

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