I generally make my kids whatever they want for lunch. At dinnertime, they get what I make for the family, but at lunch time, I do the short order cook thing (to a degree) just to, I don't know, make sure they eat something reasonable that they like each day. So today, one of the things we offered to Owen was a hot dog. He said he didn't want a hot dog, but he did want a hot dog bun. We told him he had to have something more substantial, i.e. with protein, than just a bun! (I don't know why, but he loves hot dog buns better than any other bread.) So then, after some deliberation, he requested peanut butter, jelly, and banana on a hot dog bun. Not something we've done before, but ok, that sounds good! He proceeded to eat the top part of the bun by picking bits off of it. Turns out, requesting his complicated sandwich was his way of getting the bun we had previously refused. I'm often a sucker for giving in to the kids on food issues, but today, I stood my ground. I told him no snacks until he ate the sandwich that he requested. At snack time, he begged and begged for a snack. I pointed to massacred sandwich on the table. This went on for a while, until he started misbehaving in other ways as retribution. So I sent him to his room until he was willing to eat his sandwich without complaint. He proceeded to fall asleep until dinner. Ok, so once dinner time, he already missed his snack, spent the afternoon in his room, punishment over. I made the kids "Kid Cuisines" for dinner, which they love. He picked at his and then requested something else, perhaps snack-like? No way, if you're hungry, eat the dinner I made. Initially, he decided he was done and went off to play, but slowly, he kept coming back for more and eventually ate all the whole dinner! Who knew, if I held my ground, he would eventually eat?
So, at bedtime, as I was tucking him in, in a fun way, I told him tomorrow he should ask for something he really wants to eat for lunch (and smiled.) He laughed!