Picky Kids and Food

Read about being a mother of 12 as our resident 'Supermom' shares her wise parenting advice.

My adult children who no longer live at home sometimes give their ole mom a thrill and come home for an unexpected visit. I always make more than enough food, because with my large family of 12 kids, I never know how many mouths I'll need to feed. I was worried when I arrived home from work and saw my son had come home for lunch. Of all days, I had chosen that day to buy a big piece of perch to make for lunch.

There was no help for it. I'd serve the fish, and my errant son could fill his already slim body with side dishes. I felt bad, but with no warning, what could I do? I brought out the platter of fish, and then returned to the kitchen to bring out the sides. When I came back into the dining room, arms laden with serving bowls, I could hardly believe my eyes. My 22 year old son was chowing down on a big, juicy piece of FISH.

"Fish is UGLY food."

Was this the same child who at the tender age of 9 would come home from school, get a whiff of salmon and cry with bitterness, "Why'd you make fish?? Fish is UGLY food."

"I love fish."

I reminded my son of this and he says, "Um, Mom? I grew up, okay? I love fish."

Pondering my son's words, I realized that my other children had also grown out of their dislike of certain foods. For instance, Aaron at 7 hated onions in any form. How could I cook without onions? I couldn't. So, I tried to sneak them into the food. He was polite. He ate the food. I would say, "How was the soup, Honey?"

"It was okay," he'd say.

Triumphant, I would announce, "It has onions in it, you know. I pureed it. It's all in your head. I knew it."

"Oh, I knew there were onions in it, but I ate it so it wouldn't hurt your feelings," said he, "I think I have to throw up."

Today, my 9 year old has an aversion to all green foods excepting pickles and olives. However, I have discovered that he can be BRIBED. I tell him that if he makes all gone with the Minestrone, he can have 2 Oreo cookies. Now, this didn't work last year, but it worked this week! And, he admitted to being surprised to find that the vegetable soup was tasty.



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