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Monday, February 15, 2016

The Food Countdown Game

Have I mentioned that my son is in the "I'm going to throw a fit about everything" stage? Well, just in case you're not there yet, boy is it fun. I mean what's more fun than listening to a child throw a full on tantrum about pulling their pants up or eating their dinner? Nothing, that's what. My favorite ones are the ones that I couldn't do anything for even if I wanted to. like the times that he wants apple juice but we're all out. Kids don't get the whole, we don't even have it, thing. Anyways, mealtime fits were our new favorite past time but since we started playing The Countdown Game, the tension has be toned way down during meal times. He is only allowed to play if he does not throw a fit. Otherwise he might throw a fit just to play the game. For this, I pretend that we are on a rocket ship and that I will count from ten down to zero. When I get to zero we get to "blast off". I put ten fingers up and ever time he eats another bite I make a chomping noise and take one finger away. Then I ask: How many fingers are left? This way eating becomes more of a game and less of a power struggle. It also helps them with their counting and gives them a foundation for understanding the concept of subtraction. Now when we play the game, I saw " Subtract one, how many are left?" He then counts each finger while I move each of the remaining fingers down a little (to help him keep track while he counts) or if your child doesn't know how to count, you can do it together. Once we get to zero we put our hands together and make pretend that it is a rocket ship and blast off!
Now I'm not promising that this will get your child to eat their whole meal, but it might help them to eat ten bites of multiple items on their plate. It's enough that you don't have to worry about parental abuse for malnutrition. Let me know if you have any eating tricks. Lord knows we could use some!

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