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.