Picky, Picky, Picky

I take full responsibility for my boys’ finicky eating.  If you are what you eat – my older son is an orange blob of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and my younger son is … hmm … what is he?

When the boys were little they ate all the veggies that Gerber offered.  And a wide array of other good stuff.  Then they began to talk and have opinions.  I swore I would not make them eat things they didn’t like because I have very vivid childhood memories of sitting at the kitchen table with a plate of liver in front of me, hours after the meal was over, threatened that if I didn’t finish it I would have it for breakfast.  Liver!  My husband didn’t agree with my philosophy, having come from a large family where you grabbed fast or missed out.  But when the boys were young, hubby worked late and wasn’t home for dinner.  It was just easier for me to make the boys food they wanted, typically convenience food like fish sticks and chicken nuggets.  I really regret having done that, now that they are teens and it is too late.  Too late to change their tastes, too late to say, “Then you’ll go hungry.”  If they don’t like what I’m serving they just go make something later or eat somewhere else.

Having my own eating issues hasn’t helped.  The old me was not inclined to serve vegetables with every meal because I don’t like them much either.  And it takes extra work.  If I snacked all afternoon I wasn’t even hungry for dinner.  And I don’t like to cook:(  I think the boys are just as happy to fend for themselves… frozen pizza is very teen friendly.  But I have made a concerted effort in the past year, off and on, to get healthy meals on the table.  And I try to at least have a bread or starch that the boys will eat if they don’t like anything else being offered.  We have evolved to a point where they will usually try at least one bite of whatever I’m serving.  My husband says I should just cook whatever I want and be done with it.  But I remind him that I don’t cook things he and I don’t like so is it fair to do the same to the boys?

I have done a lot right as a Mom, but not this.  It is one of my greatest maternal regrets and I would go back and do things very differently, if I could.  On a positive note – neither son has problems with overeating or weight or seems to be negatively influenced by my years of yo-yo dieting… yet.  But that’s a topic for another day.

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9 Comments

Filed under family, food, influence of others

9 responses to “Picky, Picky, Picky

  1. Ah yes, the “Blue Box” ~ I know it well!

    You can always try adding in a can of drained diced tomatoes or some chopped broccoli to that delish orange concoction. Take comfort knowing that as they become adults, their tastes will broaden.

    I knew a kid that survived on hot dogs for most of his growing years & he is fine and will probably never rot in his coffin, to boot. 🙂

  2. Sunny

    Life is full of regrets…..just try not to dwell on them, because it doesn’t really achieve anything (positive.) You are doing the best you can, now, to make up for it, and that’s all that you can do.

    :: hugs ::

  3. Hot Mother

    Parenthood is the most harrowing job on earth: you don’t know if you did it right until it’s too late to go back and fix it.

    But we all screw up somehow, and most kids turn out just fine anyway.

    I’m lucky: My mom came from a big family, and I’m the youngest of three, so Mom’s policy was, “You can eat what I made, or you can go without.” I’ve taken that same “I’m not your short-order cook” philosophy, and it works well.

    But don’t beat yourself up about it: I didn’t even USE jarred baby food: I made my own when Sonny was little. And he ate *everything*. But once he started school and was exposed to other kids? He started turning his nose up at various foods. To this day, I don’t know from one week to the next how he feels about any given food item, because it changes all the time. 😀

  4. Daphne

    I did a little of both when mine were growing up. I did force them to eat things, but I knew after I made Ben spinach one day that I wouldn’t force him to eat it again. Somethings they just don’t like much, but somethings they really detest. He still thinks mushrooms are evil. With Beth I still cook for her partially separately. I don’t add sauces on her dishes. But she would always eat the veggies if it wasn’t mixed in so we did it that way for her. Cooking healthy for my family is a real PITA between the whole autistic food issues she has and the vegatable hating husband.

  5. waistingtime

    I have this vision of my new daughter-in-law (not even on the horizon yet) asking my why her husband eats not vegetables! Oh well, she will be thanking me for all his other wonderful qualities:)

  6. Laura Jean

    I am convinced that all I’ve done to raise my kids will land them in therapy, including eating habits. We just do the best we can, and definitely better than our Moms!

  7. Jenera

    I have come to a similar realization this past week. We haven’t had fast food in a week and my oldest has been asking for it non stop. It made me stop and think just how much we ate it. Now, we are trying to add in healthier options and just the past few days have been okay but he’s been a bit iffy on the veggies. Making changes, no matter how late, are better than not making them at all.

  8. waistingtime

    My mom and I always laugh at her idea that I will make mistakes too – but not the same ones she did!

  9. Teena in Toronto

    My mother made us sit at the table ’til we were finished eating too. Alas, she was a horrible cook so there were many nights I was at the table ’til bedtime.

    Teena
    http://www.teenaintoronto.com

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