Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tastes like bagels

One of the parts of parenthood that I'm getting used to is that despite one's best intentions, some conflicts still occur.

I had every intention of raising four year olds who would eat all sorts of vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini. I was not going to be the mom who struggled trying to get her children to eat their veggies. I've read lots of books. I've tried recipes from lots of books. And yet here we are.

Turns out they are just as (picky) discerning as I was as a child.

Needless to say, we still ask them to try everything on their plates. They don't have to clear their plates, they don't have to eat cold mac and cheese in the morning, but they at least need to try various foods.

It was stunning at their last checkup, when the doctor asked my son what his favorite food was, he said beans. I thought - who are you, and what have you done with my son??!? But he does appear to like green beans, the fresh green beans that we steam with a little olive oil and salt.

My husband made couscous the other night. It took awhile before anyone was hungry, but eventually the statement was made, "we can't go outside until you eat your couscous". My daughter tried it, and exclaimed "it tastes like bagels!"

I'll explain. My son likes bagels, a lot. So whenever he tries something and likes it, he says it tastes like bagels - whether or not it actually tastes like a bagel.

With each new food we introduce (and re-introduce), and remind them that they have tried before and liked the last time they tried it...we work towards a more diverse mealtime. Maybe someday we'll be able to try falafel.

6 comments:

myrelish said...

Fortunately my kids will eat almost anything. What has helped was my son being told by a teacher that he is always growing new taste buds. It made it so much easier for us to convince him to try different foods because now he has new taste buds and they might like the new foods. He also believes that he needs to have 8 bites of anything before he can declare that he doesn't like it - that is usually most of his meal!

Freckle Face Girl said...

It is a struggle with us too. They eat fairly healthy though. My daughter actually loves broccoli.

Rebecca said...

I don't have kids, but my sister-in-law is GREAT at getting her 2-year-old to eat stuff. She'll find books at the library about food, read to her daughter all about mangoes and chickpeas and things. Then she'll go to the grocery store and point the things out: "Oh, look! There's an artichoke! I LOVE artichokes!" But she won't buy it. She'll talk it up for WEEKS, then finally buy one. Usually her daughter is really intrigued by that point, and will want to at least try it.

My sister-in-law will also eat something and tell her daughter that she can't have any - it's mommy's FAVORITE and she wants it all. That will usually get her attention too. :) And her daughter? Will try everything and likes most things. She's just started eating goat cheese. Even I can't stand that stuff.

But some kids are for sure harder than others. My grandma says she thinks kids have stronger taste buds, so some things just taste too strong for them. That makes sense to me.

C. said...

It seems like kids go through phases. My kids are pretty adventurous in the kitchen but sometimes I'll make something packed with their favorite foods and all of a sudden, they don't like it. And sometimes they don't like things in a certain combination. Or with certain seasonings. Or prepared a certain way. I'm determined not to become a short-order chef, though, so they don't get to be TOO picky. It's what I make or a sandwich.

I also notice, especially with toddlers, that they go through cycles of eating a little or eating a lot. It seems like this is pretty normal. Little kids haven't been trained yet in our cultural ways of eating when we're not hungry or cleaning our plates from guilt. Sometimes my kids will go for a few weeks eating every five minutes and I'll have a hard time keeping up with how hungry they are. This is a good time to pack in a lot of nutrition because they're usually willing to eat anything. Then they'll go a few weeks eating so little I'm afraid they'll starve. I just try to trust them and wait it out. It would surely make my life easier if they would go through these phases at the same time, but of course it never happens like that.

Aerin said...

Thanks myrelish - that's a great tactic I will definitely use.

Thanks for the moral support FFG. We love carrots -it's those pesky green veggies that are an issue.

Rebecca - that does sound like a good plan. The only downside is - my dh and I love all kinds of veggies, discuss how various family members love veggies (like tomatoes, I know, they're a fruit) but still no dice. My kids are awfully bright and or stubborn. Wonder where they get that from.

C - we definitely go through cycles. And we are also what my husband or I make or peanut butter toast. It works sometimes. They end up eating lots of peanut butter toast, but it's sort of healthy...

carrie said...

yes, peanut butter toast is a reliable fall-back in our house, too! also, black beans and rice. E could eat those every day and be happy. lately, mealtime has been challenging for us, too. sometimes i have to remind myself that even with foods i like a lot, i don't necessarily want to eat them three days in a row and why should my two-year-old be any different? sometimes the best we can do when she doesn't want a particular food is to get a "no, thank you" rather than a flat out "no." good manners make the refusal a lot more palatable (no pun intended).