My kids are picky eaters. When did this happen, I ask myself. They ate their vegetables when they were babies. They ate sweet potatoes and green beans and lasagna. Something happened between the puree and actually having to chew the food that things went downhill.
I don't completely blame myself.
It happened when they started feeding themselves. It happened when they actually had a choice and control over what was going in their mouths. It happened when more siblings came along and I was too busy trying to choo-choo a spoonful of mush into the babies mouth and wanted (and needed) the older ones to eat something (anything) on their own.
I don't get it. I love to eat. I love vegetables. I could be a vegetarian if I didn't love meat so much. Some food tastes so good I have a hard time not eating too much of it.
It must be my husband's genes. He hates vegetables. He used to throw his vegetables under his brother's chair at the dinner table to get out of eating them. I thought that was pretty ingenius. Unfortunately, that wouldn't have worked at my house, since there were only three kids. There were eight kids in his family, so it was easier to get away with that stunt.
I guess I should be grateful they don't have extravagent tastes, because when we go to a restaurant, they want the mac and cheese. The kicker is that it's Kraft, and for the price they're charging, I could buy a whole case of it myself!
Last night I fed the kids pulled chicken from Fresh n Easy. I knew they would complain, so I did them a favor. Instead of buying hamburger buns, I bought those teeny, tiny slider buns. The deal was they had to eat their tiny sandwich (meat included, not just the bun) and their rice pilaf. The older two, after initial hestitation, ate it and even admitted it wasn't too terrible. The younger two we had to resort to threats and sending them to bed to get them to eat some. Although, they did eat the rice pilaf without too much complaining.
There was an ad on t.v. for dog food on later. This dog was chowing down on this "treat" that looked like dried raw chicken jerky, or something stolen from the "Bodies" exhibit on the strip. And the dog loved it! I can't get my kids to eat real food, yummy food, and this dog is eating a nasty looking version of real food. Is it just cause it's a dog and they'll eat anything??
I guess I could count my blessings. Is picky eaters worse than overeaters? Is it harder to force my kids to eat than to stop them from eating? I don't know.
On the upside of this, my kids have learned an important life skill: foraging for food. They know how to go and find themselves something to eat.
But, since man, woman, and child can not live on Ramen Noodles alone, this obstacle will not be backed down from (sigh). Sometime in the next seven years before my sons leaves for his mission, we will get these kids to eat what is on their plate.
Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it. I better eat up to build up my energy.