There are lots of vows about child rearing that I made before I had children. Then….I had children of my own! I must confess I have compromised on some of those vows, like allowing a 2 year old to continue using a pacifier, like never having a child make a scene in public, and like counting to three when I’m asking a child to do something.
One vow I have kept is that I do not cook separate meals for my children if I happen to be making something they are not particularly fond of. I am not a short order cook! My kids cannot always have it their way. I think catering to a child’s likes all the time tends to make him selfish and expectant of that treatment in all areas of life. Typically, I plan our meals and take nobody’s likes and dislikes into consideration, (except for mine!). However, I will fix their requested meal on their birthday and occasionally I ask for their ideas for dinner. What I put in front of my kids to eat, I expect them to eat. If they don’t, they go to bed hungry. We do eat a variety of foods and I expect my children to at least try everything on their plates. I do not require that they finish everything. However, if they want dessert, they do have to finish all of their dinner. Dessert is a treat at our house because we do not have it often. Dessert may be blueberries covered with vanilla yogurt and honey. Sometimes it’s ice cream or homemade cookies.
As a result of this practice, I do not have very picky eaters. Lindsay has learned to like tilapia and salmon, and Logan has learned to like spaghetti sauce (as long as it has hamburger in it). They both love fruit, vegetables, and salads. One thing Lindsay has not learned to enjoy yet is potatoes. Every time we have potato salad, mashed potatoes, or scalloped potatoes, she gets some on her plate and has to try it. I’m thinking one day she will come around! I’m still working on them with avacados too!