Thursday, January 12, 2006

You can pick your foods, but you can't pick your family

Today's post by Finslippy resonated with me, and I'm sure also with the thousands of other parents with picky eaters for kids. I refer to Sarah, who is totally doing payback to her parents who were finicky pains in the ass as kids and are now hoping that one of these days their daughter will consume some for of protein and not wind up wizened dwarf by the time she hits puberty. I have to keep reminding myself that I wound up more or less OK with a much worse childhood diet than she has (mostly Nutter-Butters, creamed corn and cold cereal). At least she eats fresh fruit, which is more than I ever did, or do. Here's what I mean.

Foods that Sarah will consent to eat:
  • Chex (only if soggy), Cheerios (only if crunchy), and sometimes raisin bran
  • raisin bread
  • wheat bread (a few select brands)
  • butter and margarine
  • French toast
  • pizza crusts (all traces of tomato and cheese carefully removed)
  • yogurt
  • store-bought yogurt smoothies (but NOT Stonyfield Farms)
  • any kind of fruit
  • peas
  • corn
  • carrots (raw)
  • peppers (ditto)
  • cucumbers
  • vanilla ice cream
  • chocolate
  • Cheez-Its
  • goldfish crackers
Foods you'’d think she'd like, but you'd be wrong:
  • milk by itself
  • raisins by themselves
  • meat, fish and poultry (including hot dogs, which don't count anyway)
  • oatmeal
  • pizza
  • past
  • cheese
  • eggs
  • ...etc., etc.
Foods Becky likes:
  • Pretty much everything that'’s put in front of her or anyone else at the table except pancakes, French toast, yogurt with fruit on the bottom, and the more exotic vegetables.
I do worry quite a bit about this, but I've decided not to make an issue out of it, because (a) Sarah's tearful, screeching refusals will make dinnertime a jaw-clenching nightmare for the entire family, (b) I will definitely lose those battles anyway, and (c) I was occasionally forced as a child to SIT THERE UNTIL YOU'VE EATEN THOSE VEGETABLES! meaning that by golly I sat there miserably for an hour or two with the lights out and everyone else gone until a parent finally relented with bad grace. Not one of the family traditions I want to pass on. And despite the trauma, I now enjoy eating vegetables (most of them, anyway). Just keep those slimy brussels sprouts away from me.

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