Childrens 'choices' and snack time

So, it's Day 2 of blogging. 

Quite poignant for me at the moment is 'the bedtime snack'.  My children have their tea quite early as when Tilly comes back from school she's starving.  They probably have 'tea time' at 4-4.30ish.  They then go to bed between 7 and 7.30pm.  I introduced the bedtime snack when as toddlers they started waking up in the middle of the night.  I put this down to hunger.  They don't overeat at meal times and therefore their little tums are hungry by bedtime.

My children are pretty much angelic for others.  They won't answer back, repeatedly ask for chocolate or sweets, they won't strip off their clothes mid afternoon, they won't draw on the floors or walls, no they are perfect little angels!  It's when mummy and daddy arrive back from work that they make up for all of this and all of my preceding points are fair game!  Move forward to the bedtime snack.  My two year old only wants 'choclit', my five year old is more reasonable with her cheese wrap requests but Florence is insistent on 'choclit, choclit, choclit'.  Following a few tantrums, a few trips to the naughty step, we all finally agree on 'cucumber wraps'!  In the ideal world my children would ask for cucumber wraps, blueberries, apples and bananas as a matter of course but they don't.  They are in fact just normal children and representative of nearly all 2 and 5 year olds.  They push the boundaries as far as they can.  We just hold out and in the end, 95% of the time we prevail victorious. 

My food journey with Florence and Tilly has been fraught with anxious and stressful times.  When they were babies, no matter how hard I tried, how many sweet potatoes I pureed, cherries I de-stoned, cheese sauces I lovingly made, train noises I made whilst 'gliding' the spoon into their mouths, sometimes they just wouldn't eat! Likewise now they're a little older, usually they love a pear or two, however, some days they look at me like I've just put their toothbrush in front of them!!  Sometimes I just can't persuade them to eat what is good and right for them.  These are the days that they go without their fruit snacks.  It's not the end of the world but often I can't help feeling a little defeated!

In my view it is about balance.  I don't expect my children to make the right choices 100% of the time; if it was left to them I'm sure they would have biscuits and chocolate for breakfast!!  Whilst they are babies and up until approximately 18 months this is easy, they eat what you give them, however, when they are able to make their own choices and know how good sugar tastes, they are bound to challenge you.  This is normal.  I have tried to combat this through ensuring they eat balanced healthy meals and at the weekends if they want a 'treat' then they can have it if they have eaten well at mealtimes.  Tilly aged 5 is now pretty good and actually would choose a fairly healthy meal if I gave her the options, Florence, just 2 is a different ball game and is not given the choice in the main part as she would choose a biscuit over an apple any day of the week!

What would life be without 'treats'?  I know I like to have an indulgent pudding or a couple of choccy biscuits every so often. I believe life is a balance.  I know I don't always get it right, far from it but I think I'm representative of most parents, we are all doing our best.

Above all else, I believe in healthy, hearty, nutritious and tasty food.  I make nearly all of my childrens' food as I like to know what's going into it.  I'm passionate about food, love to cook and devise my own recipes.  I live by the rule; if I won't eat it then I won't give it to the girls.