In case you missed it, the highlights for the class are up. Here’s the link: http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135.
I have two sons. It is amazing that they share the same DNA, because they are so different in many ways…including eating.
Michael loves to eat all types of food. Indian and sushi are his current favorite foods. Sean does not like to eat a variety of food. If he could have a PB&J for breakfast, a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and a chicken salad sandwich for dinner daily, he would be in food heaven. Sean is what we would all call a picky eater.
Here’s a perfect example…
We were at a Japanese hibachi restaurant on the cruise. Michael ordered the “Samurai” dinner and happily ate the rice, vegetables (onions, yellow squash, zucchini and carrots), chicken and shrimp. In fact, we had to make him stop. That kid will eat himself into a food coma in the presence of amazing food if we don’t stop him. Sean, on the other hand, had a cheeseburger from the children’s menu…what a wasted experience (in my opinion).
Now some moms (and I admit that I used to be one of them until I had Sean) say, “if the kid is hungry enough, they will eventually eat what they are offered”. I’ve been there and tried that. It didn’t work. If I would have stuck with that stance, CPS (Child Protective Services) would have me in jail for starving my strong-willed child!
Does that mean that I cater to Sean’s every food whim? Absolutely not. For the most part, he will eat what I serve at the “family restaurant” when I’m doing the cooking. At outside restaurants, it depends. I pick my battles. However, I don’t (and won’t) force Sean to eat certain foods that he dislikes. The one food that I was personally ever forced to eat didn’t go so well. (My grandma made me eat squash which I promptly vomited all over the dinner table. I might have “grown into” squash later in life – like I did with the broccoli that I used to hate but now adore. I will never know…) All of that is written to say that I don’t want my kids to have unnecessarily negative food experiences.
Rather, I like to consistently expose Michael and Sean to a wide variety of food items and encourage them to at least try everything once…even if it’s just a little bite. That’s kind of my parenting “style” overall – exposure not force. Like with books – I didn’t get all obsessive about making sure my kids read by 3 or anything like that – which can be typical in urban settings with preschool lotteries and such. Rather, we read to our sons daily and they see my love of the written word. It has “rubbed off” – Michael is reading “Harry Potter” books in the first grade! I think / hope / wish (whatever you want to call it) that type of exposure and gentle influence will work for Sean in regards to food. One day that latent “foodie” gene will kick in. I just know it! (If it doesn’t, oh well…as long as he is getting adequate nutrients from his combination of daily foods, I refuse to stress about it. Life is too short.)
Anyway, if your kids are picky eaters, you will not want to miss the Cooking Connections’ “Expanding Your Family’s Palate by Placating Picky Eaters” class that I’m hosting on 3/2 at 1pm EST along with Kelsey and Jennifer. We have a variety of different opinions and would love to hear yours….because really, it’s mainly all just opinions. I’m looking forward to hearing the view of our wonderful co-hosts also. They are:
This group is a perfect mixture of “mom bloggers” and “food bloggers” – of which I’m becoming a hybrid, so it promises to be a lively, informative time. Please drop by if you can!
P.S. Three gift baskets from Cooking Connections sponsor, ConAgra Foods, will be given away at the end of the class to discussion participants.
(Disclosure: I will be compensated by TheMotherhood/ConAgra foods for hosting the Picky Palette class.)