Long ago, before my kids entered the picture, I read an article on picky eating written by an editor at one of the prominent food magazines. He admitted that he struggled to feed his kids healthy foods despite his own love for food.
I wondered how he could have let that happen. I assumed that my kids would fall into line with my own style of eating. That they’d grow up in a wondrous and accepting food environment where they’d eat a broad range home-cooked meals.
I was wrong. I highly underestimated the degree to which my children would develop their own picky eating tendencies; how they’d turn their heads when I presented them with homemade spaghetti and meatballs and vegetarian lasagna. In the early months they’d eat pretty much anything I’d put in front of them, but by age 18 months, they had developed minds of their own. In an act of salvation, I turned to the nugget.
It was like crack. The kids loved; immediately it became their most requested food. Nuggets and fruit. Nuggets and fruit. Nuggets and fruit.
So began my painstaking efforts to offer multiple options at every meal. Like a cheap watch salesman on Canal Street, I’d open my worn briefcase and hawk my wares. “What d’ya want, you want broccoli? You want rice? Noodles? Dear God please say yes to noodles.” Of course the answer was always “no”. At last, so that they wouldn’t starve: “nuggets”?
And so it went, for months on end. They had total control. They were schooling me, not the other way around. My son at one point had become so picky that he barely wanted to eat anything at all.23 comments