Before I begin this article, let me draw attention to the picture and ask a few questions. Would this child be a picky eater? Would he give his mother grief about eating whatever she put in his plate. Would he demand snacks and candy? Think about it.
“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing” (2 Thess. 3:13).
Do you dread to get up in the morning and face a kitchen where your middle child has already raided and trashed the fridge?
Maybe your baby has climbed the white wire shelves in the pantry to find the chocolate and has helped herself most generously. You know she will refuse an egg or oatmeal today. Any attempt at making her eat a nourishing breakfast will result in a battle of the wills.
Maybe your older child has stayed up late listening to audio books while constructing a Lego spaceship—all the while grazing from snacks purchased for your planned picnic. He is not hungry nor is he ready to get up at 6:30 AM to start his school day.
What do you do? Where do you begin? Your kitchen already looks like a war zone, and you find yourself in a bad mood before you ever start. Scenes like this can mar the entire day. What if your kids are not only picky eaters, but strong willed too? Where might you turn for help? Has your preschooler refused to eat anything other than chicken nuggets for the past two days? Or would your toddler rather play than eat anything at all?
If children’s nutrition is a sore topic in your household, you’re not alone. Many parents worry about what their children eat — and don’t eat. However, most kids get plenty of variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week. Until your child’s food preferences mature, consider the tips for preventing mealtime battles offered by the Mayo Clinic Staff. We think these will help save your sanity.
Sometimes just knowing there are other mothers out there who deal with the same issues can be a comfort. Having a ‘shoulder to cry on’ might be another key, but better than that is comfort and direction from our Heavenly Father, who knows and loves us all.
Since Scripture is always where mothers need to turn for help and comfort, how does one apply Scripture to this situation? We well remember the proverbs about training children (Prov. 22:6). Keep in mind that the children are there for our training as much as they are given to us to train. New Testament passages such as Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20 are only the beginning. It is hard to forget those verses, which apply to the children, if you attend church services or read your Bible regularly. But what about a mother’s own encouragement under pressure, under trials dealing with strong willed children? The children’s food habits are not always the real issue.
Hebrews 4:13-16 is wonderful encouragement if you read carefully and ponder each separate thought. Philippians 4:6 is a reminder that God is still in control and our job is to make supplication to Him for our needs.
Finally, let us always remember to be thankful for our blessings and pray for our own and our children’s needs according to His will. We surely can find comfort in the promises he has made (Psalms 27:14; Psalms 37:34; Proverbs 20:22).