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.