Saturday, July 17, 2004

Picky Eaters

"You eat what is in front of you or you don't eat anything at all."

"What do I look like, a restaurant?"

"If you don't eat your vegatables, you won't have any dessert."

These are things I've heard and I've said.  I was also raised in a family that you ate what was put in front of you, period.  If you didn't you went hungry.  In that household I grew to like or at least tolerate almost all foods.  Granted they weren't fancy foods.  Granted they had things to make them tolerable.  (Like broccoli covered in cheese)  But my tastes are pretty vast in what I like to eat.  The only things I simply refuse to eat are beets and liver. 

Dan was the same way.  Dan grew up in an even poorer family than me, by people from the hills of West Virginia.  He ate everything except for chicken on the bone, simply because of the blood vein. 

How we produced my oldest son, is a wonder to me.  It started innocently enough.  He was four and by then he was eating everything we were eating.  But somehow, during a trip from Texas to California, he decided he didn't like onions anymore.  You couldn't pay that boy to eat an onion.  We pulled the same measures.  You don't eat it, you don't get anything else.  My mom even made him sit at the table until he ate it.  He proceeded to vomit all over the table.  That was the end of my forcing this kid to eat onions.  He got so manic about it he would stand over our shoulder as we cooked to make sure we didn't put any onions in there.  He is probably the pickiest of my two kids, although Jeremiah has his moments as well.  I just found it a lot more productive to buy the things I know they will eat, as opposed to the mealtime warfare to get them to eat stuff they won't eat if you offered them money.

And I take no blame for Steven at all.  Steven was this picky from birth.  His parents can both tell you stories about the failed meal battles where they tried to make him eat healthy and it just didn't work out.  That I've gotten this red meat and potatoes fanatic to eat and tolerate broccoli is a huge HUGE accomplishment.  So the vegetables I buy, are the ones I know he will eat.  Green beans, corn, carrots, peas and sometimes broccoli.  Sometimes, if I'm sneaky, I can even get a cauliflour floweret down him.  It requires the cunning use of cheese.

Back when Dan was living with us, I could always depend on Dan to make or enjoy the dishes that I loved.  Enchiladas with onions, my casserole with noodles, meat, corn, tomato sauce and olives (everything worked on my family except for the olives), hot stuff, even the potatoes and onions he use to cook so perfectly to go with our pinto beans and ham hocks.  With him I could put onions and corn in the corn bread.  All of these foods have sadly gone by the wayside.  Now I modify the recipes so that my family will eat them.  <sigh>  I know Dan is diggin his potatoes, onions, red beans and pone bread up there in Heaven.

Dan also used to make my salads.  I told you all that I only have time enough in one day to cook one meal, so Dan would do all the chopping and cutting and I ate salads fit for a queen.  Steven did it once, but after the Great Avocado Incident, has shied away from the task since. 

So there you have it - my reason for having such a peculiar shopping list.  They are all going to go low to no sugar too, but so far no complaints.  The wheat spaghetti was a big hit, which is good because spaghetti is a staple in my house.  Now if I could just find a way to cheat the garlic bread...

The chromium is working.  I mean WORKING.  I cleaned my whole house top to bottom last night.  I've actually had the stamina to do these things.  Which is good because my kids no more do chores than they eat foods they don't like.  I've grounded them, I've taken away their privileges - nothing works.  I've offered allowances, I've even done a "buy chore" allowance where they can make as much as they want.  They have chosen zero.  I've noticed tho as I do more, they do more.  So maybe that was just what I needed all along. 

Parenting.  Such the challenge.

I'm hoping on Monday I can get back in the swing of things.  I've switched sleeping schedules again due to the darn flu, and I want to use tomorrow (my figurative day off) to flip flop the schedule.  If I can do that, then Monday it's back to my walks and Pilates.

I'm almost a complete person - a clean house, a clean diet - now I just have to add organized work and exercise.

Wonders never cease.


1 comment:

datadiva318 said...

My kids are the same.  Picky!  I hate to force them to eat anything they don't want, though.  I feel like I'm teaching them to eat when they're not hungry.  

However, my husband has a different point of view, which I respect.  He figures if they don't want it, they need to learn how to cook.  j/k  He and I always fight on the issue of making them eat what we fix.  In the end, we both get our say.  It ends up with the child having to eat a certain portion to atleast try it.  Then, the common parent quote, "You will eat nothing else if you don't finish this much."  It's usually a small portion.

Usually, we tell them they can't have whatever snack it is they really want instead of real food.  It works most of the time.  Every so often our children get smart and decides they don't want the snack anymore.  Why are meal times such a battle with kids?!

Anyhow, in general I've managed to get my kids to atleast try foods they swear they don't like.  I use all sorts of persuasion.  However, like you, I still don't understand how they can all of a sudden hate something they used to eat all the time without complaint.  I guess it's just a phase.