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Monday, January 4, 2010

Food Fight!

"Eeww, I don't like that!" "Teacher, I'm full!", "But...I'm all done!" This is just a few of my favorite lunchtime conversations. Oh the list goes on and on. I have a kid in my class that eats next to nothing each day. However, I'll sit next to him with my lunch and wouldn't you know it...there's always something in my lunch that pleasing to his hungry eyes. Of course being in the field a while I have my suspicions about why he eats so little. I know the "food fight" will only lead to frustration and aggravation at what's supposed to be a pleasant time of day. So each day I sit next to him, we chat about our day, we look into each other lunch boxes, we chat about our food, he even asked for my corn on the cob today. I said no sweetly with a smile and directed him back to his own lunch. He was unhappy and he let me know it by mumbling something under his breathe.

Yes, even at lunch I am busy teaching. I am teaching my little friend that there are lots of different foods to choose from. I am teaching that eating is not a battle and food is enjoyable. I am teaching he has the right to refuse to eat but regardless of whether he chooses to eat or not our day must go on. And some day soon I'll pull enough food out of my lunchbox for the both of us. And without him even realizing what has happened, he'll have had a pleasant eating experience. He'll have tried something new. He'll have realized he lived to tell about it (good or bad) and quite possibly will take that joy home with him. Until that day, I'll sit next to him and enjoy his company and refuse to take part in a "food fight".


  1. I only eat with the kids one day a week and they never ask me for my food because it's always a salad! Their lunchboxes always look more attractive next to mine. =)

  2. At the schools I train in, the children are not allowed to bring their lunch (only if they have specific allergies with a doctor's note). And the teachers must sit down with the children and eat the same thing as the children or wait until their break to eat their own lunch.

    But anyway:) I think it is an important lesson this little one is learning about respecting the things (or food) of others and learning how to overcome the idea that he has to have it too. A tough lesson to teach as well - sometimes it is much easier just to give in rather than hold your ground.

  3. lol...I love salad, I could eat it everyday too! If you look closely at the picture there are no veggies or fruit in the child's lunch box. He had pbj, the container had waffles in it, a yogurt, and chocolate chip cookies?

  4. What a wonderful post. You taught him something important in a gentle manner, I hope when I finally become an early childhood educator, I can do the same. Blessings!

  5. Oh - I thought that was your lunch:)

  6. I agree. Our attitude about food can carry over into the after years...just like our teaching. Some attitudes about foods are cultural. I have seen many over react and cause issues where there really should have been none.
    Thank you for this post.
    I appreciate it.

  7. Ooh, no Debra (Teach Preschool) not my lunch box. I have a "Dora the Explorer". He has Spider Man! I told him Super Heros have to eat to stay Super...just look at me:)

    Thank you Honorable for stopping by:)

    Culturally Speaking, I remember when I was in my early teens my auntie dated a man from Haiti he ate fish, plantains, rice and beans almost every night. My younger cousins and I would laugh at his diet and make fun at the awful "bananas" he ate. Fast forward almost 20 years, my husband and I were invited to dinner at a classmate of our daughters. The husband was Puerto Rican and the wife was Columbian. What'd they serve? Skirt beef, rice, beans and plantains. It was delicious! That's a regular meal in our home. None of my girls will dare touch the "green bananas":)