When my grandchildren came to visit, not too long ago, one picky eater really surprised me. Then I became very concerned.
Raising my family of nine children, being a short order cook was never an option. So her refusal to eat spaghetti really threw me.
There is, of course, no right answer here. If you want to cater to each child and make what they want to eat–go for it. But something seemed afoot here. Let me explain.
In my house, spaghetti was the one meal I knew everyone would eat. So, I was pleased to serve it to my grandchildren. But as soon as the pot was on the table, the two older boys shook their heads.
“Grandma, she won’t eat that.”
“What do you mean she won’t eat that?” I asked.
“She will only eat the noodles with butter,” they informed me.
That just didn’t sit well with me. I asked her if she had ever tried it. Her answer was no. So, I made a deal with her. If she would try my spaghetti with sauce, and didn’t like it after the first bite– I wouldn’t ever ask her again. And she could have he noodles the way she was used to them.
Boy, was she surprised to find out that she actually liked it with the sause.
You might be thinking, that’s a pretty bland tale. But what I uncovered was a deeper problem.
When the boys both jumped to defend her– as in letting me know that she wouldn’t eat her dinner as served, I realized there is a problem.
She, being the only girl in the family, was catered to like a princess. This was begining to affect her health.
Within the span of just a couple of years she had several broken bones. Falling off a couch, and other accidents that should have left her brusied, not broken.
I began to suspect that it was her diet–and it was.
So, after dinner I explained to her about nutrition. How what she eats, and just as important, doesn’t eat will strengthen her bones. The rest of the visit mealtime was the same deal. One bite, that’s all I asked.
When her parents picked her up, they were amazed. As you might have guessed the boys had to tell them how their picky eater had eaten everything grandma had served her.
This generation of parents has had the luxuary of giving children want they want. While it might feel good to them, they don’t always realize that it’s only a good thing on a small scale.
If you are always giving them what they want, they seldom