I am participating in National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo, where I will be posting every day in the month of November.
I was a fussy eater when I was a kid. Really fussy. I did not like:
Sauces of any kind
Vegetables – all
Foods touching other foods
I know that my Mom was exasperated at times (Hi Mom!), but she handled my pickiness perfectly. I was not nagged to try things that turned my stomach to even look at; I was never forced to eat just a few bites of something; dessert was never withheld because I hadn’t eaten my dinner, though in our house, dessert was only for special occasions and not a daily part of our lives; another practice that I like and have adopted with my own family.
What my Mom did do was always cook a variety of healthy meals; she would leave things plain for me; she would always put just a little bit of the foods that I did not like on my plate, such as one broccoli floret or three peas.
Growing up I was a healthy kid. I did not catch colds, and I even remember that when I was in grade five I didn’t even believe in colds, having not had one in my recent memory. I was a normal and healthy height and weight, and I had enough energy to get through my days and weeks. I didn’t get cavities.
Very gradually, the availability of different foods tempted me, and eventually I would try something new, always one thing at a time. That piece of cauliflower didn’t look too ominous, and gravy might make that meat taste a little more interesting. It was a long and slow process and it didn’t happen overnight, but by the time I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was eating almost everything and loved experimenting with new types of foods.
My six and eight-year-old daughters like things plain for the most part, though neither of them is anywhere near as fussy as I was. N’s favourite dinner is salmon and broccoli, B loves sauces and Mexican flavoured dishes like chili, and they both love eggs and fruits. Yes, they eat a lot of pasta and potatoes, but they get a lot more variety in their tummies than I did at their age.
Regardless, I know not to worry or stress about it. I definitely don’t want my daughters to feel stress or pressure over eating food. Eating is natural and enjoyable, and I want our dinner times to be about being together and feeling happy and safe and comfortable. The rest will come with time, I am sure of it.
But if I’m coming to your home for dinner, please note that I am not perfect. Please, no mushrooms, eggs or olives for me. (Shudder).