Monday, January 18, 2010

Snake Steak and Turtle Soup

Whenever I would ask my mother what was for dinner, Dad would reply, "Snake Steak and Turtle Soup." I learned pretty quickly to eat what I was given and be thankful.

The result of this: I'll eat just about anything.

Friday, I was preparing our meals at Dinner A'Fare. I was next to these two ladies, one who was there for the first time, and of course couldn't help but hear their conversations.

Will you give this to your kids?

Oh no. I wouldn't expect them to eat this. I'll probably just give them a taste and then fix them something else.

Me too. I'm so thankful that little Janie loves Steak-n-Shake! Just about every day she asks me to take her to Steak-n-Shake.

I tried giving mine a casserole and they didn't like it. I guess they just don't like the food when it's all together like that.

I bit my tongue. Literally. Good thing I have a blog to let it all out!

Why on earth would a mother not expect her child to eat nutritious food? Since when is a daily craving for Steak-n-Shake a cause for celebration? And if they're not eating the nutritious meal prepared, what on earth are they fed instead?

The rules for food at our house was/is simple.

1. You must taste everything.

2. You don't have to eat it if you don't like it, but you're not getting anything else.

This is not to say that my children are perfect eaters. In fact, many meals had Glenna asking, "Will this be a meal with bread? (We then limited her bread intake to two pieces, the little buggar.) However, my kids are not, for the most part, picky eaters. I certainly never played restaurant with them and fixed them a meal of their preference instead of the meal I had already prepared.

When Ty started eating solid food, I read in our favorite childcare book (lovingly called, "The Owner's Manual" by Himself) that as long as I offered nutritious food to my children, they would not starve. I also read that if they were not hungry now, they certainly would be by the next meal! Glenna would eat a huge breakfast and lunch, then almost nothing for dinner. Poor, deprived kid. Kelly spent the year as a three year old spitting food out in the sink (she remembers this vividly and at the time thought to herself Why am I doing this every single night?). Tyler ate pretty much everything we put in front of him until one day he decided broccoli wasn't his favorite. It's just one thing, Mom, out of all the food you make. Just one thing!

I can't help but think of Phyllis's children eating pumpkin curry soup and loving it. Why? Probably because they weren't told it was gourmet or fancy or icky or any other adjective that may turn them off from it. They gobble it right up!

Why do so many moms choose to make the dining table a battle ground? I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but I've yet to see one. When I see a kid who's a picky eater, I have also seen a mom who indulges.

While these two mothers gushed over the poor eating habits of their children, I suddenly felt like a mean, mean mom.

Then I smiled.

Maybe they just need a taste of Dad's Snake Steak and Turtle Soup.


agable said...

The first time I saw Ty eat a salad at work, I thought "Wow, I hope you rub off on Ben!" :)

Jessica Leigh said...

I was always very picky growing up, but I never had the option not to eat what was put in front of me. I was the kid who would sit at the table for an hour pushing her vegetables around on her plate. Finally, my parents set a timer, and you'd better believe I'd finish my food (at the last minute, literally, and with many sound effects and nasty faces, mind you!) before that timer went off!

Now I can eat onions, peppers, cabbage, squash, zucchini, asparagus, peas, and 50% of mushrooms just fine. :D I still won't eat tomatoes, though!

Anonymous said...

This is a hot button for me as well! I've always felt that parents train their kids to be picky by catering to them and are really doing them a great disservice.

I realize that we all have things we don't like to eat, and that's ok, but to refuse to eat a meal that someone has prepared for you is just rude and a sign of ungratefulness.

That probably makes me mean, as well :-)!


Paddy said...

LOVE IT! for me Mando, jr was in high school and every day he'd ask me what's for dinner, i'd tell him. he'd make a face. but he ate it. so finally one day when he asked what's for dinner, i grabbed the calendar. told him to pick a day. he was to decide what's for dinner. i'd make sure he'd have all the ingredients for his dinner ready to make. well little did i know that this was a good lesson for him. he's quite a meal maker now. and he's very proud that he can make something for his children and not just run out and "get" them something.

lol, why were those ladies there if they were not going to really serve what they were buying?????? i don't get it.

Phyllis said...

Hee hee. Our children are being held up as an example of non-picky eaters! And, um, I guess it's true. They eat just about anything. . . and lots of it!


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