It is not exactly news to write about what my kid(s) won’t eat. Every parent has a story, right? However, some blogs have elevated it to an art form. At Suburban Bliss, author Melissa Summers has a regular feature called “Did They Eat It?” She takes clever photos all through the meal preparation process, adds a liberal dose of humor, and tops it off with the comments from each of her (often disgruntled) family members. As at my house, things rarely go well for her. Plan, purchase, prepare, have everything be done (and hot) at the same time – ? – and then “they didn’t eat it.” Sigh. Perhaps my favorite part is the needlecraft motif header in her blog; a cross-stitch masterpiece that is to me the perfect juxtaposition of old fashioned “clean your plate” with modern parenting sensibilities.
The Professor was willing to eat anything when he was little. Then came The Little One; he was much more, um, discriminating. And that’s where I made the fatal mistake as the meal-preparing parent — I let one influence the other and it was a slippery slope down from there to Nitrate Land. We still make them try new things on a regular basis — I take some amount of perverse pleasure in it actually — following a philosophy loosely based on some mythical research that when one tries a new food at least 20 times, one will learn to like it. Or at least tolerate it.
The funny blog The Detective Mom had an amusing post recently, sharing a story of her toddler’s foray into salad. It involves vegetables and the body functions of small poultry. Sigh again, her kid eats salad!
So, we keep plodding along, throwing new culinary attempts at the wall to see which ones will stick. The kids will eat more things if they are plain, raw or not touching any other food stuff. They will eat all the ingredients separately, but not combined. That’s not all bad. There are always some healthy things to choose from on the table. Someday they will eat food that is mixed together, I am confident. I hear that at the age of three, I ate nothing but SpagettiO’s for an extended period. Now, I will try virtually anything, and enjoy almost all of it. (Except SpagettiO’s.)
Recently, The Professor and I were having a spirited discussion about what was for dinner. I must have had an exasperated look on my face, because he suddenly looked empathetic and said, “Mom, I am really sorry that you have to go through so much effort to try to find healthy things that I will eat. (long pause) But it is kinda fun watching you try!”