Recently, I had an aha moment about food and my children’s terrible eating habits. I cannot even believe I am going to admit this freely to anyone reading this article but I found myself giving my toddler Pringles or Fruit Gushers early in the morning just to prevent screaming. So, like any good mom I went to Facebook for help. My FB post went something like this… do I continue to offer separate meals to my children, and by the way each child was eating something different, or do I offer them only what we as a family are eating for dinner? Everyone of my friends had an opinion and each of them were right on it. The collective thoughts were DO NOT offer them anything different but at the same time, try not to force them to eat it either. However, they either eat what you offer or go to bed hungry.
That very night I placed tacos in front of both my boys. You know, tacos? The meal so many American families enjoy eating for dinner. You would think that I placed a plate of crawling worms in front of them. Colin, my youngest pushed it away immediately while Christian, my oldest began eating his taco painstakingly slow with microscopic nibbles so as not to really taste any meat, then began spitting it out.
I did not give in! Colin went to bed hungry and Christian eventually got around to finishing the taco. You cannot imagine the guilt I felt letting Colin stay hungry but surprisingly my feelings of guilt tugged at me far less than when I was letting him eat Pringles and Fruit Gushers (which I’m not sure have any fruit at all in the ingredients list). The next day brought something far better than I had hoped for, Colin traded in his morning chocolate granola bar for an entire banana with a hint of peanut butter and 2 boxes of raisins. He didn’t stop there. Around mid morning he ate an apple. An entire apple. That is when I took my camera out and photographed these adorable moments that were such a bright spot in our food wars with one another. Now, I am going to take the advice of a friend and start reading, “Bringing up Bebe.” An American woman raising her child in France offers quite a unique perspective into how the rest of the world and their children eat. Stay Tuned.