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Tuesday, April 22

"People are Starving"

These are statements that are made all over the country everynight . There are children starving all over the world. You are so blessed to have such delicious food to eat. We eat a great variety of food you need to learn to like it. Eat whatever age you are, five years old equals five bites. You can't have any strawberries or bread till you eat your meat, rice, and vegetable. I have uttered these words more times than I care to remember.

Now my question is different. Do I just let my children dictate what I make? Do I only make what they like and avoid all the issues we have every night? Does it matter if I give variety? Will they grow up hating Rice and broccoli because they were forced to eat it? Will this effect them into adult hood? Will they make good decisions as their life progresses? Should I force them to eat what has been given them and not complain because it is bad manners or let them complain and not make them eat? What about when we go to someones house and they don't like the food, can they complain.

Skip says, that's what kids do it is natural. I say "the natural man is an enemy to God" They should be taught not to complain , eat what they are given, and be grateful. I guess I am an absolutist. It is a hard thing to teach children and many times you are to tired to be the enforcer. Isn't this what we are though, the parents. Skip says choose your battles and this is one we will never win ,so don't battle.

I know this subject has been debated forever. One of my friend's husband gives their children more of the undesired food if they say a word of complaint. I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do ,but it is trying to teach respect for the person that put the time in to thinking up and preparing what to eat. I do think about it a lot. I want my kids to be healthy and have healthy choices. They need to be respectful and grateful for the person spending the time on the food prep.

I found this article http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/food/general/toddler_meals.html and thought it made sense. What do you think? Skip and I have got to come to a meeting of the minds on this.


Cristy said...

I don't know what to tell you. My kids don't eat everything, and I don't make them eat everything. Some nights I try harder than others but I am not going to waste my time. It's just a battle of the wills. Bryan is way more hard core than me. My kids are pretty good eaters. I just worry about them getting enough of the meat whether it's chicken, beef, etc. So they get the stuff that will stick to their bones. My advice, Choose your battles! It's not a battle I want to have all the time, so I make things that girls like and then things I like. I know that doesn't help much.
As far as being at someone elses house. Nobody has us over anyway :)
If it's potluck we just choose what the girls will eat. We don't make them eat everything.
This seems like something that came from your childhood that maybe your passing on.

Marissa said...

In my opinion, "Chick Fil-A' says it all. :)

Suzie Soda said...

Well you are right about the fact that parents have been battling it for years. Most of the time, my kids had to eat what we had for dinner. I did try to make things they liked. But they had to have vegetables, etc.
I wasn't going to cater to individual people..there were too many of them and a small amount of time..Plus, I do think it shows respect. I think it is like everything else, some things are not negotiable......that is why you have parents.
If they really, really hate something.....I tried to make a substitute. But I didn't go for hiding it or throwing down the drain secretly. I think the age-bite thing is fair. And to at least try it. My kids now like things they didn't and so do I. We will have to talk more. I am not sure I am right...but it feels right. It is a drag being an un-appreciated cook.

Cristy said...

I hope I wasn't too cynical since we have opposing views on the subject. I guess we battle what we can handle throughout the day with kids and I just don't want to fight every night KWIM?
P.S. Mom & Dad weren't as hard core with the second generation.

Oh, I did go a week early with Morgan so there is hope it won't be 4 more weeks. Mom and Bryan both don't think I will last that long...we'll see??

Maryann said...

I have a reply for this but I'm still thinking it out. Shane and I talked about this last night. I'll get back soon.....

brossettelewis said...

I try to have only good choices available. That doesn't mean they never eat chips (someone else buys them:) I'll let you think who) or candy but there is never a sugar cereal to choose, candy bought outside of Halloween and Easter, etc. There is always dried fruit, cheeses, nuts, bananas, vegetables in sight. I don't want to force it because I think they would be apt to sneak the bad stuff. A little indulgence is fine but once it it becomes shameful or secretive, that's a whole other realm I don't want to visit.

I think we are lucky that our kids will try most things. We have tofu, hot and sour soup, avocado, and steak lovers.

Maryann said...

Ok, I'm ready to comment...
After reading everyones comment's I have to say "I agree". I agree with everything. Yes, it's important to give your kids good food choice's. Yes, it's important that they try new things. Yes, they do need to have good manners when at someone else's home and at their own.
As everyone know's we have three kids. All diverse in their food choices. Getting them all to eat the same thing is very hard.
I'll start with Ethan. I let Ethan eat what he wants, when he wants it. Is this the right thing I don't know. Getting him to eat, understanding what he wants to eat and trying to explain to him that eggs are good for him is just hard.
Then we have Mackenzie. She is by far my picky vicky....She is me....
Like Mackenzie I have alot of food issues. When I was young, as legend has it, I would sit at the table a cry because I had to eat one pea. To this day I hate peas. I'll pick them out of soup, eat around them in salad, and feel that they are best frozen, when served on your leg, to prevent swelling.
I have a lot of food issues from growing up. It kept me from trying new things and enjoying food until I was in my 20's. I wouldn't even eat salad with dressing on it until I worked at Dillard's (17). And rice, I hated rice until I was friends with Beth Dragger (tuna rice casserole, not favorite.) It didn't help that I also had a sister that mixed all of her food together and then showed it to me. To this day, I have to "self talk my way through some food choices".
I wish everyone was like Riley. She will try anything. All her dad needs to do is say "try this," and in it goes. Sometime she spits it out, not very often, but she is always willing to try anything.
And like my sister she has to tell her sister, how good it was and that she is a chicken because she doesn't like it or won't try it.
I say, give your kids a break, give yourself a break, Try to have mealtimes that are calm and as peaceful as your house will allow.
I understand why our mom hated to cook. Who wants to have their efforts called gross and I'm not eating that yuck...
When I make a meal I tell my kids "This is dinner, if you don't want it, that is you choice. But this is all good food and if you don't eat it there will be nothing else." I don't think you should cater to everyone, just try to include one thing that most people will like.
I promise that a some point your kids will come back to the good food side. Mackenzie hated salmon until 2nd grade, now its her favorite meal. She is more willing now to try new things, when there is not a penalty attached to not trying something.
Sorry this was so long. I hope it helps someone and we can ease up on ourselves and our kids.

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