Friday, February 10, 2017

Kids And Food

This was printed in the Orlando Sentinel January 31, 2017.

Can we talk about something that I'll bet every parent struggles with?

What foods your kids will eat.

Before I start let me tell you about my house when I was growing up. My Mom made dinner. That was what was on the table at dinner time and we ate it. There was no making a bunch of different meals for us kids and there also was no negotiating about whether we liked it or not.

Not mean just the way it was. And that system worked just fine.

I've never been to your home but I'll tell you what's shaking in mine. My twins are now 13 and their food history kinda goes like this.  They like something a lot for a while and then...they don't. As Pee Wee Herman used to say, it's a mystery. Especially to this Dad.

Let's start with what they do like.

McDonald's.

I won't even eat there but for them it's heaven. They even have their own order: Double Cheeseburger, ketchup only, large fries. They could eat that, not every day, but close to it. It's gotten to the point that I recognize workers because I go through the drive thru so much.

And I have to admit Dad is a hero when he brings that home.

I remember when I was younger we had to go out of our way to avoid McDonald's when my brother was in the car. When he was little if he saw those golden arches we had to stop. So the game became to stay away from them.

Other things my sons like, pizza, mac and cheese, hot dogs in crescent rolls, grilled cheese, pancakes, doughnuts, cookies, and on and on.  Basically stuff I refer to as junk food. But I'll let you in on a little secret, there is no such thing as junk food when you're a kid.

I know what you're thinking, what about them eating vegetables?

Is there trickery involved? The answer is yes. Is there bait and switch? The answer again is yes. Parents know this--whatever it takes to get them to eat healthier, that's the way to go.

The word around this house is that we're working on it.
Miles on the left and Griffin on the right

Miles hasn't met a food he doesn't like except vegetables. Griffin is a bit more finicky but he'll eat them. Like I say, we're working on it.

Just so you know they each have a multi-vitamin every day. That's part of the working on it.

Here's something I hadn't counted on.

Miles is a bit of a cook. Granted it's pretty basic now but he's really interested in it. This semester he's taking his first culinary class. It's fun to watch him in the kitchen boiling water and spraying Pam on things.

Start small, my friends.

He has no idea now but when you're dating and you make the dinner?

Nothing but net.


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