Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Feeding the Picky Child: The Only Parenting Choice I am Truly Defensive of

This article came out in The Times today. The author says that kids menus are ruining our children's palates. He thought they were FABULOUS when his kids were little (duh, that's what they're for) but now he sees the error of his ways.

Oh, there is SO much to say about this. First of all, most good 'adult' restaurant food, while delicious contains about a pound of butter. NPR recently did a nutritional analysis of high end restaurant food, and it's just about as bad for you as MacDonalds. Just because it's from a fancy restaurant don't make it health food.

From the time Eric could feed himself in the post baby food era, he was very selective. It was a challenge to get him to eat diverse foods. The boy does not eat bread, except for the inside of a sweet baguette, or similar bread, so sandwiches were out. He will not eat meat.

He. Hates. Most. Food. Even sweets. I know this because he will try things to a certain extent. He will stick his tongue onto some foods.

What am I supposed to do? Fight with him about it every single day? Starve him until he caves? He has been this way from the get go. So many parents are horrified that some people make their kids special meals. But it's just the way he is wired. My husband has all these weird food issues particularly regarding the texture of food. Eric is much the same way.

If Eric was only eating chicken fingers and french fries, I'd be worried and more inclined to force the issue. His diet is not diverse, but it has everything he needs nutritionally speaking, carbs, protein, fiber. Some kids are just like that. My daughter is not, and I introduced her to solids much the same way I did him. She loves to eat what I eat. Eric is so happy to eat his pasta. He doesn't try new foods at school either. It's just the way he's built, and we work around it. It's annoying as hell and I don't like it per se. But the alternative seems much worse. I wouldn't force Eric to do anything else that he was frightened of, so I think we'll stick to his carbs for now.

Tell David Kamp the author of the Times article that he is welcome to come to my house for a week and get my preschooler to eat like a grown up. I will give him $500 if he succeeds.


Blogger Downpuppy said...

The kids burger at the Common is almost as huge as the adult, & pretty good.

The little pup is into raw vegetables, pasta, eggs, & bread. Last year, every time we went out she went for fish & chips. You don't fight it, because any kid that eats out often enough that its a major part of their diet has bigger issues.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Amen to that. Restaurants should be a treat, not a major part of a child's diet. So, I don't see what the big deal about crappy food is.

Some weeks we do better than others with this. But even on a bad week, they eat three out of 21 meals out. But my son eats exactly the same thing in a restaurant that he does at home: pasta with butter. The only difference is that they put more butter on it than we would.

10:11 PM  

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