My fussy eater is driving me crazy! I am writing this post in an attempt to keep my sanity and reach out to other parents experiencing similar difficulties! Allow me to set the scene with a small victory:
A couple of weeks ago, we visited family for dinner to celebrate Granddad’s birthday. They had decided to try a goose recipe, that sounded delicious, but I knew The Boy would take one look and refuse to even contemplate it! I don’t give in easily and he knows that I won’t panda to his whining, but oh boy, does he push me to the limits! After refusing to even try the goose and insisting that he didn’t like it throughout the meal, he looked at me and said, “I won’t get any pudding if I don’t try, will I?” So, at least this boy is learning- one up to mummy! Eventually, after squirming in his seat, dropping his fork several times and pushing it around the plate a bit, he finally ate a tiny piece. His face was that of the proverbial bulldog, chewing a wasp! Then, to everyone’s surprise, he announced, “Mummy, it’s really tasty! I love it!” To say that I was speechless would be the understatement of the century. All I could do was sit, in a stunned stupor while he wolfed down the remaining meat on his plate! The Boy likes goose! Not hugely helpful on a day-to-day basis but still, I’m going to take that as a win, all be it a small one!
As a family, we love food. Well, all of us except The Boy, who would happily bypass mealtimes altogether and live on snacks throughout the day (ideally crisps, breadsticks and fruit, if he had his own way!) instead. His stubborn attitude towards food has continually driven me potty since he was a toddler, compounded by the fact that his sisters are the complete opposite, will try anything and have few dislikes between them. He just doesn’t have an interest or love of food like the rest of us, despite being brought up in the same way as the girls, trying different things, going to restaurants and travelling abroad.
Not a meal-time goes by without The Boy refusing something! No matter what I serve, there will be a complaint and frustratingly, the complaint generally comes before a piece of food has even touched his lips! As a baby, he was just as accepting of new tastes as his sisters. He ate virtually any mashed food (by number 3, there’s no time to purée) and if he wouldn’t eat something, I didn’t have time to make something else. The kids learned from an early age that everyone eats the same meal and I do not run a cafe!! So why, in heavens name, is The Boy such a fussy eater? Why does he refuse anything new or slightly different? Why do I have to battle with him to take just one mouthful? Why does he not have the love of food enjoyed by the rest of our family?
I can honestly put it down to just one thing, nature! How could it be anything else? I’ve nurtured him in the same way as the others, he’s been bound by the same rules and expectations, he was exposed to vast ranges of tastes as a baby, what else can I do? Battle on! That’s all I can do, and I’m no quitter! But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s driving me crazy! The battle will continue but the war is far from won!
So for all parents fighting the good fight, and battling daily to feed your little darlings healthy, delicious food, please take comfort in the fact, that you are not alone and their current fussiness is probably due to a gene inherited from another family member. It always makes me feel better to blame someone else! Take comfort in that knowledge and stay strong:
We shall fight them until the end,
We shall fight them in the kitchen,
We shall fight them at the table,
We shall fight them in restaurants in front of strangers, where we will show strength,
We shall fight them in the park at the picnic tables,
We shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, they are still only eating sausages as their main source of protein into their teenage years, we will carry on the struggle, we will take steps forth to rescue and liberate their taste-buds,
We shall not flag or fail.
Are you driven crazy by your fussy eater? Please tell me there are other parents out there with similar experiences to mine to prove the ‘nature’ theory! It would make me feel much better!!