Picky Eaters

How to navigate children’s fickle appetites.

One simple rule to put an end to the food wars

When I was little, eating just wasn’t my thing.

I couldn’t have been more than five, when my mom decided to boost my nutrition by serving me chocolate milkshakes for breakfast. One morning, I guess she was in a hurry to get my brothers and me off school, and she forgot to stir … As I gulped down my chocolate milkshake, I discovered the raw egg, she had added to it — for a little extra nourishment.

Well, that was the end of chocolate milkshakes for breakfast. It might not have been the end of my trust in my mom, but it sure didn’t help.

But, here’s the thing: apart from that one “yucky” memory (and, believe me, discovering a raw egg in your chocolate milkshake is, without a doubt, pretty yucky) I have many positive food-related memories growing up! I remember devouring chopped liver on Ritz crackers at family get-togethers; I remember celery sticks filled with cream cheese; I remember roast beef, baked potatoes and creamed spinach at my grandma’s dinner table; I remember making egg salad and tuna fish for my summer camp lunches with fruits and veggies galore.

So, how did it happen? How did I go from a picky-eater five year old to a kid, who ate pretty much anything — even spinach, Brussel sprouts and mushrooms? Okay, I wasn’t so keen on aubergine, but cut me some slack, I was still a kid.

The answer is simple:

My mom stopped trying.

She stopped manipulating my eating.

And, she put an end to the food wars by abiding by one simple rule:

Parents are responsible for — WHAT, WHEN and WHERE kids eat.

Kids are responsible for — WHETHER OR NOT they choose to eat.

As long as parents maintain the division of responsibilities — all is good. It’s when they try to share their WHAT, WHEN and WHERE responsibilities with their kids, that things go haywire and get out of control.

It’s time to take control of our lives.

It’s Time 2 Lead.

It’s time to THRIVE!

PS — Want to have some fun with this simple rule? Watch me read my story – Tony Macaroni .

Originally published at medium.com

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