“I don’t want to eat that!”

As I ponder what to make for dinner tonight, I alternate between wanting to grab the latest take-out menu (one of the benefits of living in NYC!) and then realize that of course, to please my one vegetarian kid, the other almost vegetarian and now incredibly picky eater, and the youngest who has shifted from being the pickiest eater in the family to now really wanting her well balanced meal with veggies, I just feel like giving up before starting. I have to admit that I hate preparing food. Ironic given my field and the book I wrote, focusing on food and kids and all the lecturing I do on the topic. Even more ironic, the fact that the less I am invested in needing my kids to ‘eat well’, the more they seem to want to. (Yes Mom, we do need a vegetable tonight!) Don’t get me wrong, I really do try to feed my kids healthy foods and have that array on hand, but I have to admit that with work, their crazy schedules and everyone’s crazy tastes shifting around from week to week, (“No mom, I hate salmon! Where’d you get the idea I’d want to eat that?!” ‘Just from the last three months of asking for it and eating it happily, I feel like yelling back.) Countless parents say the same thing; they either cook several meals for different kids, or have other rules. I will share the one I go by and of course, cave at times, and say: “Go get a slice!”
1) Have one meal you are serving that seems to make some people happy; you, your husband, wife, one kid perhaps
2) For older kids who can use the microwave, allow them to pick when you are grocery shopping, something that can be heated up and eaten for a meal.
3) For younger kids, have them pick something they can get from the fridge or make themselves; yogurt, a bowl of cereal, a piece of cheese.
The rule is they have to figure out how to eat it and it has to offer some nutritional value. I don’t get too hung up on what kind of nutrition as it seems to all balance out for the most part with me checking in from time to time: “What are you going to have for protein?” With the information they have on hand, the more responsibility I put on them, the more they take. Of course, I may just order take out tonight!

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave your Comment