Just Eat It, Dammit!

By Stephanie Clark (Mother of Timbit and Toddler Timbit)
Originally published in Diary of a Fashion Mommy

Poster courtesy of Kaboodle.com
We eat all sorts of food in our house - pasta, crockpot dinners, Indian, Chinese, casseroles, and even Sushi.   Yes...Timbit eats sushi and use to ask if we could eat "Nemo" for dinner since the Disney character was the same color as salmon.  Anyway before I digress as I have a tendency to do...

I always imagined that I'd be like my mom and tell my kids they had to eat whatever I made.  Which worked up until Toddler Timbit arrived.  This kid has a mind of his own, won't sit at the dinner table, eats when he wants to and what he wants to, and doesn't have any interest in trying anything new.  My older Timbit never ate McDonalds, chocolates, undiluted juice, sugar cereals, etc., etc. - we ate healthy and wanted to introduce him to different cultures by way of eating.  How wordly of us.  And here I am with Toddler Timbit, who ate Chicken McNuggets as soon as he had teeth, drinks chocolate milk (thanks to my current pregnancy addiction to Nesquick - reduced sugar, iron added version of course), and is helping me reduce the Halloween chocolate stock in the house (even though Halloween is still 3 days away).

I assumed Toddler Timbit would be open to trying different types of food just like Timbit was.  Nope - he's not.  He'll eat naan bread and have nothing to do with butter chicken; edamame beans but won't try the sushi; and garlic bread but not the pasta if it's not Kraft Dinner or smothered in tomato sauce.  I find it so frustrating because - DAMMIT!  I slaved over the friggin' stove making that damn bacon carbonara sauce for 45 minutes, and he didn't even try it!  The audacity of him!

I'm hoping this is just a phase.  That he'll eventually open up to trying new foods and eating proper meals - but for now, Toddler Timbit is a grazer.  And though he does eat more junk food than he's brother ever did, he surprised me one day when I fed him a hotdog, chips and apple for lunch: he finished off the apple and asked for another, ate the bun, drank his milk, and left the all-beef-don't-ask-which-part-of-the-cow-it-came-from meat product and chips.  (Seriously...who leaves chips?!?!)

I guess it goes to show that despite the early introduction of craptacular foods,  he has still picked up the healthy eating habits that do go on in our house.  I've decided to pick my battles and not force the food onto him.  I do make sure there's something in the meal that I know he'll like or at least try.  If he's not digging the homemade turkey burgers, then I offer him his favourite - corn on the cob; but only when everyone at the table is ready to eat theirs as well.  We have a "safe list" of go-to foods if we find he's not interested in what were eating - but we never give him the impression that he's getting a different meal from everyone else.  That's what I grew up with - we all had the same thing for dinner regardless of whether we liked it or not.

Will Toddler Timbit's taste buds eventually match our own?  I sure hope so, because I have this insatiable craving for butter chicken right now.

How do you get your kids to eat what you make?  Do you cook only what they like or different meals for each?  Do you make them try other foods?



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