Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's not like I'm trying to get them to eat escargots.....

I have a quick question (oh, it’s never quick, is it Meanie). After 10 years of being a Mom I have learned that Dr. Google and parenting books only make me paranoid and feel like a sub-par parent (omg, did you read What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Remember that part where she wrote that if at the end of the week you are craving a sweet treat, to indulge in her recipe for homemade muffins sweetened with prune puree? Haaaaaaa, when I was pregnant, I needed a sweet fix at the end of every day/hour/minute and fed myself at the trough of the local Bulk Barn!)

 But I digress. My girls are pretty picky eaters. Grace is much better now though, and at least has a willingness, when coaxed, to try something new. For a while she wanted us to pay her a dollar to eat, but even without consulting Google/parenting books I know that is wrong (right?) Edie’s idea of trying something new is to lick it and then loudly proclaim that she doesn’t like it (you imagine this is done as eloquently and discretely as a member of royalty. I like picturing Queen Elizabeth doing the same thing).

 I am so tired of eating “kid-friendly” fare and developing menus for the 10 and under crowd and another for the 29 and under crowd (shut up). This week I started a new strategy, again, without consulting any professionals. I decided to make one meal each night, the kids have to try it, and if they don’t like it, the peanut butter, bread, jam and VERY dull butter knife (you don’t know my kids) is laid out on the counter for them to make themselves a sandwich. Themselves. They have to make it. Not me. I’m eating/enjoying something with more than three ingredients and likely multicoloured/multi-textured. Am I going to create nutritionally challenged kids? Is this cruel? Will this send them to the therapy couch down the road (well, they are headed there anyways, this can just be added to their laundry list of complaints).

Tell me though, does this seem like a fair tactic? I really want your opinion. (Oh, and my parents did make me eat escargots. They didn't tell me what they were though, all I knew is that I loved the garlic butter the little snails were bathed in. I must of been kind of stupid though, what else could they have been?)


Robin Riopelle said...

OMG. I have one that eats everything, always been easy. And the other (now 12) that eats virtually nothing.

Like you, my dear, I go round the twist making something DIFFERENT FOR THIS KID EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I think he needs to start making his own meals.

He tells me he wants to like stuff, but just gags. I've seen him throw up any number of things.

We celebrate the weird things he does like. Extreme Green Happy Planet juices? Yeah. Broccoli? Yes. But otherwise, it's just chicken strips, meatballs, plain pasta (heaven forbid it should have butter on it, let alone sauce), pizza (plain cheese), and spoonfuls of Nutella.

It's maddening. But I know there are bigger battles to fight. So I don't force him, don't make him. Kid number one was raised exactly the same way and never needed threats or coercion. I just think they're born that way.

As someone who loves to cook, it's frustrating and sad to think he may never open up to all the amazing tastes in the world, but it's his life -- and his tastebuds. I love him in his entirety. But there are days, Ms. Meanie. There are days...

Liz T-D

karen said...

you blog! why am i just finding out about this now????

Little Red Hen said...

My kids are pros at making peanut butter sandwiches. My mantra is "I've already cooked a meal. I'm not making another. This is not a restaurant." Do they go to bed hungry? Probably, but they know enough not to complain because the response is always, "Well, you should have eaten supper."

Anonymous said...

Ok - so I have pretty much zero expertise in this matter, seeing as I have a toddler with what seems to be an insatiable appetite...but I've found this blog pretty awesome with her food suggestions and recommendations; "Its Not About Nutrition" (don't think I can post the link...) she recommends something like your pb sandwich stand (her post uses cottage cheese, or something else - same idea tho). A lot of it is geared towards little ones, but maybe some of the suggestions like having the kids 'review' the food (taste, texture, etc.) and not having to even swallow the food might open up some doors?? Anyhoo - I'm just waiting for the toddler pickiness to kick in any day


Lynn said...

I think it's fair. I have a similar attitude around here. What I usually do is prepare a meal and leave all the pieces of it separate for the kids - like, say, if we are having chicken stir fry, I'll make the stir fry but also reserve some cooked chicken on its own, some raw veggies in a bowl, and some plain rice and they can eat all that separately if they like, while my husband and I enjoy something that adults would actually eat.

On the days when I can't not mix-up the food (say, when we're having lasagna), if a kid really blanches then they get to make their own bowl of cereal. I'm sitting, I'm eating, I've done my cooking dinner job, I'm not getting up again. It works well, and when they see me really warming up to the "I am FINISHED COOKING NOW" lecture, they scamper and eat quietly. Bonus!