I started a discussion in the BlogFrog community with the question “Do you make your children eat everything on their plate even if they do not like it and it is “good” for them?”
I just got home to sit down and read everyone’s replies which I found to be very interesting. I think most of these mothers are at least ten or even twenty years younger than me. Their answers fell into the same category of how I practiced my motherhood, however, completely opposite of how my parent’s generation would have answered the question.
Alyssa could not start eating any kind of food or cereal until she was nine months old because her digestive tract was not completely matured. I was her only source of nourishment and I can tell you, she truly sucked the life out of me! I lost a bunch of weight, but she was extremely healthy.
When Alyssa finally started eating, I didn’t give her jars of baby food. I would do things like:
- after cooking the peas, I would pop the inside of the peas out of their shells and then smash it into a soft mush
- squish the carrots
- cut the chicken up so tiny that it was also almost a paste
- I would even chew some of the food in my front teeth and then give her the bite – I know that probably grosses everyone out, but since my body made hers, I didn’t really think it was that big a deal. Heaven forbid you bring it up to Alyssa now. She will nearly throw up at just the mention of my “spit” as she puts it. I have to laugh.
As she got older, her food became less smooshed. By the time she was two, she ate EVERYTHING. Both my niece, Brittany, and my daughter’s favorite meal was Caesar salad and wheat bread with freshly made strawberry jam from the la Madeleine Country French Cafe. We had one about ten minutes down the street and I know that I took both of them there for lunch at least three times a week. People would watch Alyssa, kneeling in her chair so that she could see her plate, eat one bite after the next of salad. I have to admit, it was strange seeing such a tiny girl eat so much green lettuce.
I have never believed in “clearing the plate” and my only rule was that if you said you didn’t like something and you hadn’t ever tried it, you had to take a bite. If it tasted really awful and you hated it, then after five chews you could spit it in the napkin. That was not a common occurrence mostly because she ate so great and Alyssa preferred healthy foods over junk.
I WAS SO LUCKY!
Actually, I AM SO LUCKY because she still eats wonderfully!
In contrast, I had to eat everything on my plate. I was usually the last to leave the table. I would dip the bites of whatever I hated in the jelly, the green bean juice, vinegar, or anything to try and disguise the flavor. To this day, I HATE CANNED PEACHES. If I can’t get them fresh, I won’t eat those funky tasting peaches in metal cans. GROSS!
Think about it…Do you think a canned peach’s flavor is any better when it is dipped in green bean juice, a little vinegar, some mustard, rolled in the crumbles of fried chicken, with a shake of salt and a shake of pepper?
I can assure you, it is still awfully sick tasting.
Alyssa, on the other hand, eats the metal canned peaches.
Poor misguided child.
I’m going to ask you the same question as I did of all the people in the BlogFrog community…“Do you make your children eat everything on their plate even if they do not like it and it is “good” for them?” and/or “What were the “eating” rules when you were a child?”