I Wish I Knew How This Worked, But My Kids Love Vegetables And Stuff

This week, the internet is full of Moms crying about getting their kids to eat healthily, hating cooking because no-one likes it anyway, and praying that, for Mother's Day, they can get a break from cooking. Tales of kids who only eat white bread and jam, or only mac a cheese, or nothing at all. Kids who say "Eeeew, this is groooosssss!" How soul-destroying is that??

I don't have these problems, and I have been trying to figure out why. I guess if I knew HOW COME my kids love to eat and eat anything that isn't able to escape, I could write a book and BE RICH!

An Example:

Last night, I put some pink salmon fillets into a baking dish with olive oil and seasoning, and put them in the oven. Then I put some veggies: carrots, sweet peppers and eggplant, chopped up, into another baking dish, with more olive oil. I put them in the oven and the French Tutor arrived, so I didn't turn on the oven. I left the boys and Celia the wonderful French tutor to their own devices around the kitchen table for a while.

Then, I remembered that I should boil the wild rice from early because it takes forever to cook, so I turned it on and forgot about it completely. Half an hour later, clouds of smoke erupted from the kitchen, so I ran cold water under the rice pan. Sean says we are buying a rice cooker THIS WEEK, because burned rice is, um, not unusual here.

I scraped the rice out of the pan and said "Hey, it's not too bad, kinda nutty!"

"You're kinda nutty"

"No, really! I can salvage this!"

Then I remembered that I should have switched on the oven twenty minutes ago. So I did. Then, I chopped up an onion, and sautéed it to add the rice to. I threw in a can of sweet corn, and said "Voila, mes enfants!"

Celia the French tutor left in stitches.

And, my children all ate everything on their plates (I did NOT give them the eggplant, that would have been asking too much) and they all asked for second helpings of everything, and Sam said "I just LOVE this!"

Then they had a clementine eating contest which Sean and Chas won because they have HUGE MOUTHS and can fit an entire clementine in. And chew. It's a bit messy though.

I know! It is weird. They eat veggies, beans of all varieties, brown rice, wild rice, salad, sushi, fish, meat, soup with bits, soup without bits, spicy curries, eggs, omelettes, toast, muesli, goat's milk, regular milk, powdered milk with a spoon, sweets, fruit, ANYHTING. They like to cook, too, and will help themselves to sandwiches and snacks.

Even if they run away from home, they will survive in the wild by catching and eating stuff.

Occasionally, they will say they aren't keen on something (eggplant for instance) and I shrug and say "Whadevver duuude" I cook with it anyway. Sometimes I blend it up in a sauce, or maybe leave it in pick-outable chunks. If it's blended, they never notice and they don't make a fuss about picking out. Neither do I! Sometimes they go through a phase when they don't seem to eat much. Max ate little for years, but his appetite seems to be catching up.

Sean and I both like to cook, and it's a pleasure to cook for kids who love our cooking. We are really lucky. When I figure it out, I'll write that book!


I think it's because:
1: We can really cook
2: We complement and compliment each others cooking
3:We didn't let them eat junk so they never developed the habit.
4: When they ever complained that tey didn't like something, we did not offer them an alternative. They simply got hungry enough to eat what they were served.
5: We fed them out of love and not necessity.
There! Now go get rich.
The Mother said…
I really can cook. I have been trying to teach my kids to eat real food for their entire lives. We have never had bad stuff in the house.

And yet:

As teenagers, a healthy diet would require restraints and an NG tube.
After beating myself up for many years and blaming myself for my son's picky eating, I have come to realize that every kid is different. My younger one eats everything, my older one eats nothing. It's who they are. At least that's what I'm telling myself ;)
Nan Sheppard said…
Oh, the boys will probably stop eating now that we've patted ourselves on the back!

True, though... they ARE all different.
Unknown said…
I think kids are born with their preferences in food - or food textures - or food colors - or whatever it is that drives them. There is little one can do to alter their choices - so the trick is to learn, as a parent, not to make too big a fuss about eating. They will, eventually, come around.

That said, I think you and Sean are incredible parents, and you're raising three of the finest young men I have ever had the privilege to meet. That's not hyperbole. Please. I mean every word of what I've said - from the bottom of my heart.
Anonymous said…
Clementines are like nature's candy, aren't they? We pop them by the dozens here too.
I wish I could cook well. I HATE HATE HATE to cook.
Nan Sheppard said…
Lou, you are a sweetheart, thank you.

Coming soon: the picture of the inside of Max's nose!
My girls love veggies and get really annoyed if we have takeout. When they were little their favourite foods were capsicum (peppers?) RAW onion and olives.

Boo on the other hand will eat fruit, chicken nuggets and cheese toast. The latter only in the last few months.
Nan Sheppard said…
See? They are born eaters or non-eaters.
HalfAsstic.com said…
I nominate you for parent of the year!
Wacky Mommy said…
"Voila, mes enfants!"

I think that was what did it, the cat is OUT of the bag ;)