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Stuttering Shell: my eight year old eats what?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

my eight year old eats what?

so there is a pretty popular book circulating the parenting set about expanding your child's particular palate. i haven't read it, so please forgive me if what i'm about to say seems harsh but...

do you really need to read a book to figure out how to get your picky eater to eat?

in my opinion, no. i believe that picky parents produce picky children. why? well, if you don't like it, what makes you think your child is going to like it? i was raised by parents who believed that you ate what you were given. if you didn't like it, you either sat there until you ate it or you went hungry. and - surprise, surprise - i am raising my children the same way. 

i'm not a short order cook. my kitchen is not a restaurant. there is a menu, but there is only one thing on it: you get what you get & you don't throw a fit.

don't get me wrong, there are things my children choose not to eat. malia refuses to eat tomatoes, brussel sprouts & blueberries. aidan also doesn't care for brussel sprouts {but he'll eat them...reluctantly}. but, what my children will and do eat amazes people. i've blogged about it before, but my children are actually quite adventurous when it comes to food. i think a lot of that is due to the fact that adam & i are not picky eaters and are quite adventurous ourselves. are we foodies? i guess so. but, i do the draw the line at certain things and - more often than not - my children surprise me and show that they are more adventurous than i am when it comes to culinary deliciousness. 

case in point...

{gotta love a blurry cell phone pic}

that picture above? that's aidan eating a duck foot. yes, a duck foot. and, that particular duck foot was wrapped in a skin made from tofu. there was also taro root & steamed shrimp inside {my father & i joked that was the duck's toe jam}

i know, i know...ew, right? i don't even eat duck feet. but, aidan wasn't made to eat it. we were at our favorite dim sum spot in boston. my mom ordered them and we asked the kids, "do you want to try one?" malia said no. aidan said sure. i always tell my kids to give something a shot before they decide they don't like it, especially when it comes to food. this is what aidan did and guess what? he liked the duck foot.

so, while some of you are battling the "i only want chicken nuggets" blues, don't get frustrated. instead, get smart. hell, outsmart your child. stop catering. serve what you are eating. your child might surprise you. but, if you're picky, well, i don't know what to tell you. this mama doesn't do picky.

p.s. food allergies and other sensitivities do not count as being picky. 

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Blogger R said...

Your kid is far braver than me. And I've never tried brussel sprouts. It was the one veggie my mother never had in the house and never made us eat b/c she thinks they taste like a foot would. Then again your kids eat animal feet so who knows!

Jan 24, 2012, 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger Vy Barto said...

Love it! I grew up the same way. I know that there were times when I slept at the table because I was not allowed to get up unless I ate all the food in my plate...and being Asian, there were some interesting things to eat. Needless to say, there isn't much food I don't like, or won't try at least once. Just don't like: bean sprouts(I know, what Asian doesn't like them), hot dogs and bologna (the taste gags me), and durian fruit...just can't get past the smell.

Jan 24, 2012, 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger Mel Tales said...

Girl, it is the same way at my house. You eat what I cook or go hungry! On the flip side though, I do not think I could endulge in the duck foot.....yikes! Wade is an avid duck hunter and now the roles are reversed on me...He MAKES me eat the duck meat when he cooks it! It's really not bad, just something in my head telling me I am eating a cute little duck.....

Jan 24, 2012, 9:49:00 AM  
Blogger Jess - PrettyPhysicist said...

That's how I was raised, and that is how I will parent my children (when we have them). You get what you get and you don't complain. I will eat just about anything, and the things that my husband won't eat? I don't make them.

Jan 24, 2012, 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

I'm a sissy. My first kid is picky and, well, I'm lazy.

There, I said it.

Your kiddo using chopsticks amazes me!

Jan 24, 2012, 3:08:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Awesome job, Mama!

We're always complimented that our kids eat very well. Like yours, my kids have a few things they just do not like. Do I cook without those things? No, they just have to pick out what they don't like.

I had a friend come over with her two boys once around dinner time. I had made the Pioneer Woman's meatballs and some mashed potatoes. I offered food to her sons but they wouldn't eat it. Here is what they would eat: Chicken nuggets but only in the shape of dinosaurs, PopTarts and frozen corndogs. Seriously.

I asked one of her boys (age 5) if he'd like to at least have some mashed potatoes. "What are those?" He'd never had them!!!

The only rule we have in our house about food with the girls is that they have to take one bite of everything ONE time. If they don't like it, fine. But they at least have to try it.

I will never understand why some parents make the food issue so much harder on themselves than they need to.

Jan 24, 2012, 5:33:00 PM  
Blogger AndreaLeigh said...

jason and i are not picky eaters at all, but cooper won't eat anything we put in front of him. we battle to get him to eat each day. i offer him whatever we're eating and he usually declines. then I offer things I know he likes - grilled cheese, chicken, and sometimes he refuses that as well. the doctor has told us not to stress about it, but honestly, I'd give anything for him to eat what was put in front of him.

Jan 24, 2012, 9:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Aidan is a total foodie! That's great that he's up for trying new things. I know some parents have a very hard time with picky eaters, so it's nice there are few things your kids are opposed to trying/eating.

Jan 24, 2012, 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Lis @ A Trucker Wife said...

Love ya girl!

Jan 26, 2012, 7:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

If I didn't have the princess, I would probably agree with you...however we had 2.5 years of the only meat she would eat being chicken nuggets/strips...believe me we tried everything...she went a whole day without eating at one was insane...she has somewhat expanded her pallet now (chicken, hot dogs, peanut butter) and she will try new things, but she is 7, and it has been a hard road LOL Bubba on the other hand will eat everything! LOL

Jan 27, 2012, 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Suburban Princess said...

Amen sistah! My son tries just about everything. I remember people being shocked when he was just over a year old eating tandoori shrimps I made for him. I would ask back '...and what do you think little children in India eat???'

I believe our son eats anything because we dont tell him that he likes it or not...we let him decide. We also grow fruits and veggies so he gets to take part in growing his snacks and anytime he wants, all summer long, can do to the garden and eat his way through the plants!

Jan 29, 2012, 3:26:00 PM  

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