Since the day my kids could eat solid foods and they weren’t nearly as picky as they are now, this is a question that has plagued me for the past 12 years. Nothing ever really prepares you for parenthood; not owning a pet, not reading a million books, not caring for that ridiculous egg baby parenting project. It’s all trial and error, that’s the bottom line. My biggest struggle as a Mom has always been what to feed my family. As a big food lover myself, I thought everyone shared the same enthusiasm about food as I did. I mean, everything I love to eat is delightful and everyone should love it as equally as I do, especially my kids, they see me eat it every day, right? WRONG! There are so many factors to their little picky palates…texture, color, smell, visual appeal, outside influences, you name it, there’s an excuse for them not to eat it. So here I am, on my own little mission to satisfy 3 kids that don’t all fancy the same things.
First, there’s my 13-year-old. She is a creature of habit, she eats what she knows she likes and that’s basically it, but she’s willing to try different things if I sway her enough. And even if it’s something she knows is tasty and will eat again, she won’t burst out with a “that tastes so good Mom!” She wants me to know that I may have had her try something new but that doesn’t mean she’s going to let me know she likes it.
Then there’s my 12-year-old son. Now this one is the MOST CHALLENGING of my 3. He likes meat and potatoes and the only vegetable he eats willingly is cauliflower and it must be roasted. If there’s ever anything new placed in front of him he asks what it is and automatically claims he doesn’t like that! He’s a lover of fried food, especially chicken, he would eat Chick fil A nuggets every day for the rest of his life if the universe allowed it. But I know that all that fried food isn’t good for him, so I try to introduce him to other ways to eat chicken. He loathes the texture of shredded chicken so anytime I make it for tacos or casseroles, he turns up his nose and won’t eat it. It’s still chicken for crying out loud!
And lastly, there’s my sweet little 10-year-old. She’s my easy kid, the one I can always count on to eat whatever I put in front of her, or at least try it. She pretty much eats anything and is the only one who will join me when I make Tikka Masala. But if she’s not in the mood to eat breakfast for dinner, one of my many go to meals, she’s happy eating a can of ravioli. She’ll eat spicy food too; she is obsessed with Takis. If only all 3 were that easy.
But let’s face it, they’re not and I’m vowing to get them more involved in what we’re eating in hopes that it will stir up some excitement to try new things. I know I’m not the first to do this and certainly won’t be the last but I’m taking you on my journey because I refuse to let these little people ruin my love affair with food for me. And I’m going to need all the support I can get.