Join the Conversation: What Are We Feeding the Kids?
Sharing the challenges and joys of the present with the hope of doing it better in the future
As a follow-up to Kate’s piece (and Holden’s birthday, during which, let’s hope, he ate lots of cake), today’s discussion, open to all subscribers, centers around feeding kids: What are you struggling with? What are your pandemic-era (or general) wins, etc.? Where do you turn for inspiration? Are you part of a cooking-for-kids online community that has worked for you? And how have their tastes grown up as they've gotten older?
As always, to join the conversation, type a comment below.
I am new to this community and missed the initial conversation. I am a mom to three very picky kids (3, 9, and 14) and a total food lover myself. My husband I cook elaborately and adventurously every week-- and always offer to our kids-- but they won't eat any of it. One of my kids isn't neurotypical, the second is extremely sensitive to smells and tastes (can't tolerate the smell of ketchup for example), and the last eats a more varied diet than the other two (more vegetables). But all of them will only eat single ingredients and they all will only eat raw fruit/vegetables. Actually oldest will ONLY eat apples. That's it when it comes to produce. The other two will eat lots of fruits as well as raw peppers, cucumbers, green beans, frozen peas, frozen corn, etc. When my oldest was small I used to enforce a one-bite rule, but he'd sometimes gag or even vomit after trying something and it became such a terrible battle of wills that I no longer do it. I've had to really let go of the idea that some foods are "good" and some are "bad" and remove the value we place on different types of foods. All food is food. Period. Yes I often cook three different meals because they are picky in different ways. I try very hard to make meals that I can just serve a plain version of for the kids to make it feel more like we are eating together. Sitting and eating together every night is a huge priority for our family. Exactly what everyone eats is less important. I also want to highly recommend the Ellyn Satter approach to feeding kids. At 14 my oldest is showing some signs of expanding his palette. He'll eat bbq sauce now, for example and sweet potato fries. He's also starting to appreciate the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables, even if that hasn't translated to branching out beyond apples yet. As with a lot of things in parenting, sometimes you have to have to let go of control and just have radical faith that the kids will turn out OK.
I work in a grade school, and am amazed at what some of the kiddos are bringing to school for their lunch. A lot of chips, ramen, sodas, and energy drinks. I am all for supporting freedom of choice, but, I wish there was a way to ban these items from the school. I don't know what the answer to be?