Thursday, July 22, 2010


I'm not a parent who caters to my children's culinary whims like a short-order cook. "This is what's for dinner. Live with it. Preferably with a smile on your face."

There are a few simple rules for meal times.

  • Eat the food on your plate.

  • Do not insult the food on your plate. It makes mommy mad.

  • Thank the cook. It took work to get the food on the table.

My first child has never had an issue following these rules. From baby-hood she always ate what I gave her. She even chowed down on all sorts of weird stuff when we were in Africa. What 2 year old eats fish heads without complaining? Because I thought her non-pickiness was due to my brilliant parenting, I was writing chapter 32 of my book, "How To Get Your Child To Eat Anything." Then Mandy came along. She has always been a picky eater. One time I tried to feed her sweet potatoes and she smacked the little jar out of my hand and sent it flying 10 feet away. I'm amazed that children can be so different in their tastes. 

While I don't short-order cook for my kids, I keep their preferences in mind. Okay, it's usually just Mandy's preferences because Emma will still eat anything. Mandy doesn't like mixed food groups; casseroles are her worst nightmare. While I'm dishing up her food, I separate the noodle/potato from the meat on her plate. The world can keep on turning. Also, Mandy doesn't like bread or pasta usually. "No, you must fill up on useless carbs!" That makes no sense, so I let her skip the bread. She's weird, but we love her.

Tonight's main course was a huge issue for Mandy. Ravioli: a noodle with cheese inside. Gasp! Horror! Indignation!

And I heard my child ask, "Please can I just eat the trees?" (Broccoli).

I made her eat 3 Ravioli and she took seconds and thirds on Broccoli.  I'm such a nice mommy. Mandy even thanked the cook when she was done.

Remington is more like his eldest sister in the eating department. He'll eat anything with a smile on his face. Well, almost. He doesn't like bananas. Thankfully I wasn't serving bananas for dinner tonight. Fhew. Broccoli, he loves.

You win some. You lose some.

Needless to say, my plans for writing, "How To Get Your Child To Eat Anything" are on hold.




Shawna said...

So when are fish heads back on the menu?

Anonymous said...

Some kids will eat anything if it is topped with a cheerio - ha ha
Glad your kids like trees:)
Jenni B

Kari said...

we have a few issues around here as well, with the same set of rules. Yesterday? Rice and Beans...gasp, horror...for them. little do they know I turned it all into enchilada filling and they will see it revisited!! :)
My firstborn has an excellent gag reflex and we are excellent vomit catchers...

Dan & Hillary said...

Oh, your blessed children. Just when you thought you could write a book, they give you a new chapter to ponder;-)

We're out of fresh blueberries:-( Now I'm going to have to pay $2+ per lb. It's time for roadtrip #2.

Sherri said...

Yeah for Trees! They are healthy at least! (and unless the ravioli is the really good stuff I'm with Mandy on the Ravioli)

Sara said...

Oh, I'm so there with you on this. While Abby would probably not eat fish heads, she eats most stuff I give her and eats lots of healthy foods. I liked to take credit for Abby's good eating habits, until Ben came along and messed up my theory. The kid won't eat hardly anything. And when I find a new food that he will eat, I get all excited about it and try to serve it to him the next day only for him to refuse it. Sigh. He's terribly picky, finicky and just a plain "bad eater" (not to mention extraordinarily texture-sensitive). Maybe it's a second-child thing. Here's hoping any future children I may have are more like #1 in the eating department.

PS) And by the way, I DID NOT mean to use the same basic blog design as your latest one. I just visited your blog today, and was like, uh-oh, no wonder I was drawn to the green with the dandelions - I'd seen it before! Sorry! Hope you don't mind too much!

Melanie said...

This is one of many fears I have about having kids. My husband ate almost nothing when he was a kid, so if they get his genes, we'll be rotating through about four different meals for the first 15 years.