I was driving far away to a tennis match with my team, this week, and picky eaters was the topic of discussion.
If you think this blog entry is going to fix your picky kids, let me lower the bar right now. Your picky kids will still be picky when you finish reading this.
You can read my more complete (and hopefully much more helpful) thoughts on the topic in the 12 Steps to Whole Foods intro. But what I’m writing today is kinda just for laughs.
My kids have the delightful habit of giving me an uncensored stream-of-consciousness regarding what I make/serve. This is partly my fault because I was soliciting their feedback while developing recipes, for a couple of years.
Now what I want is for them to just shut up and eat it. But it’s too late: they think they are food critics.
My mother (AKA “MomPam”) didn’t indulge opinions on food. Didn’t much care what you thought. You could have ONE food you hated. (You still had to EAT it, but you were allowed to hate it. Mine was this store-bought spinach soufflÃ© she liked. My choice came down to a tossup between that, creamed corn, and mushrooms. Like I said, you just got the ONE.)
(Later, when she quit buying the soufflÃ©s, I switched to creamed corn, which makes me convulse. If they served it in the Cannon Center when I was a freshman in the BYU dorms, I walked in the cafeteria, stopped dead in my tracks, and wheeled around and walked out. Skipped dinner. My roommates would look at each other, sniff the air, and say knowingly: “CREAMED CORN.”)
We weren’t allowed to say “hate” or “don’t like” (let alone “gross,” “nasty,” etc.). My mom once helpfully offered “I don’t care for that” as an acceptable dinner-table statement. The eight of us said that, in an exaggerated, proper British accent, well into adulthood.
My longtime friend and tennis partner Laura always has a way of making stressful or annoying parenting situations funny. For instance, we were discussing kids looking at porn on the home PC, and she said she told her 3 boys, “If you look at porn, I will see it in the Google history, and I will call you in and we will look at it TOGETHER.”
If Laura’s kids tattle on each other, they have to do it SINGING.
She said her kids are allowed to say anything at all about what is served, as long as it is followed by,
“And that’s just the way I like it!”
So, imagine this:
“Mom, this is a slimy, disgusting insult to the human palate and it makes my intestines revolt. And that’s just the way I like it!”
Your own tips for dealing with picky kids will be highly appreciated by GSG readers!