Friday, September 28, 2012

Why My Kids Refuse to Eat My Cooking (One Theory)

Today was day 3 of eat your mama's food or bust.  Basically, it goes like this.  I make something I consider to be utterly delicious and nutritious.  They eat it or walk away hungry.   No making their own   meals, no snacks, no ifs, no buts, no won'ts.

Some are more vocal than others about our new rule but no doubt most of them are completely unhappy about it.   The most recent meals (meals that have been made strictly following recipes cool people on food network and others wrote,  mind you) that have been rejected were clam chowder, deer stroganoff, corn and cheese chowder, corn casserole, french toast, and banana bread.  For the skeptics out there (you know who you are) all were husband approved and thoroughly enjoyed.

I finally told my kids that I just simply will not cater to 6 different members of our family any more.   At one point in the summer, I caught myself making three different breakfasts for my rascals.  What?
With every meal, certain things has to be picked out and other thing added;  some like raisins and hate nuts, others hate raisins and like nuts; some like red sauce and hate white, get the idea.     My head just spinned writing that sentence.

That's it!  I will make ONE dinner and all of us will eat it with a smile on their face and adoration of their mama.  Ambitious of me?  Not at all ;)

Every since I completed my Master's degree, I  found my self with time and energy to explore different recipes and food blogs.  No only that, but I've been reading a lot on the benefits of the real food diet and intend to comply with it as best as I can.  All of this meant that I no longer buy dinosour chicken nuggets (to my kids' horror) nor animal bi product nitrate filled beloved kielbasa from the Russian store to name a few but instead chose to broaden our food repertoire with yummy real food meals. However,  my effort to keep our family healthy is making me anything but a cool mom.  

The truth is, my kids have very immature palates.  They have very limited number of foods they like.  Their diet has not been resembling a glamorous rainbow.   The most exotic thing they like is sushi.  The ones with the fake crab inside.  (Sign.)

 I don't know at what age exactly I went wrong.  When did I stop introducing colors to them and settled for various shades of white?  As babies all of them had splendid appetites.  They loved peas, various brown rice concoctions, squash, sweet potatoes, and every other vegetable Earth's Best offered.  Wait a minute.  Maybe that is the problem?  Maybe my kids should have been fed food from a plate and not from a baby jar when they were babies?  I was a young mom who was busy with school and work and thought her mission was complete if the jar was labeled Organic.   Trying to fix this with my current baby.  Will see how adventurous of an eater he will be when he grows up.

However,  to vindicate my self from my wrongdoing,   I want to explore another reason why my kids are such boring eaters.   After watching this clip, it all became clear to me: 

My kids are part of the narcissistic generation.  A generation who rarely practices delayed gratification.  They are a generation who is used to always having abundance of choice.  Which in itself is completely awesome if it wasn't for that darn feeling of entitlement.

For too long,  I have allowed my kids to feel entitled to the particular choice they feeeeeel like making. Oh you don't like dinner mama made?  Go make yourself a sandwich.  Oh, you don't want to have her as your teacher even though you haven't met her yet?  Lets see if we can fix that.   You don't feel like taking a nap even though you are only 2?  Fine.

I mean I don't consider myself a liberal mom.  Not allowing my daughter to quite Russian school after much begging is a perfect example how I have a spine and am able to stick to my guns. Ahem.

Honestly, every day I go to bed thinking how I should have said more Yes and fewer Nos.   The number of times my kids force me to make that decision is incredible.    I  still believe in the power of choosing battles.  Its just, somehow, the battle to get my family to all eat the same meal every time was put on a back burner.

I mean, I realize they are individuals who have difference preferences.  But
my husband and I were also individuals growing up but no one conferenced with us about our preference of dinner.  We were simply fed dinner that our parents were able to provide to us.  Same with  millions of children around the world.  If they get dinner.

All in all, I intend to continue torturing   working on diversifying my kids' palates as long as my sleep deprived flesh will allow me. Wish me luck.  I need it.