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[ETA] The following rant is based off of the video I linked, that's important to note. Also, there is some AWESOME discussion happening in comments, so that's good for further talk, too. And I'm super hungry now, so I'm going to eat. Have fun with the comments, folks!

I owe emails and replies, but first: I love Jamie Oliver and not just because he swaps out th's with f's. (Essex represent, 'ee is well fit, innit?) I think this is one of the most important videos a parent (or loving aunt or uncle, etc) can watch.

And just so you know, I firmly FIRMLY believe that "picky eaters" are made, not born. They will eat it if you give it to them, says this mother of three who have eaten foods as diverse as raw squid and octopus, all manner of curries, eel, any and all fruits and vegetables including DURIAN and bok choy, and a steady stream of lima beans (even though their mother won't touch those things.) My son begs for spinach and freaking butter beans. Why? Because I was a poor single mom (even when married to husband #1, lol) and I could grow veggies, but I couldn't afford fast food. 10 months old and my son would walk to the fridge and bang on it until I opened it and gave him raw mushrooms. No lie, his favorite dish was stir fried zucchini and mushrooms. At 10 months old.

IF YOU FEED THEM CERTAIN FOODS, THAT IS WHAT THEY WILL EAT. (You think kids in southeast Asia are born with a hunger for durian? Lo mein? No, they're fed that, and then that's what they eat. Ditto with mole sauce for Latino kids, plantains for Caribbean kids, etc. etc.) If your kids complain about you changing their food and diet to healthier things, tough stuff, cream puff. You smile, eat the good foods, and then let them walk away from the table. They get to complain for a few days. And then they'll eat. You know why? Because they'll be hungry from not being allowed to eat junk. And then you have kids eating good food, yay! It's not mean, it's not cruel, it's called parenting and it's a JOB. And if YOU are eating good foods, then it's likely that your children will, too.

*cough* Please see my post about me caring for my autistic sister who apparently has all sorts of food rules, to the point where she eats crappy processed foods at home - like, four steady menu items - and yet EVERYTHING I made her at my house, which was all homemade and fresh, she wolfed down and even had seconds on some things. Huh. So please. Please don't try and convince me that your child/child you know just won't eat such and such. Studies have shown that kids need to be exposed to new foods 5 - 10 times before it sticks, and THEN IT STICKS! Isn't that wonderful? :)

Whew. Needed that off my chest. (And for the love of Mike, if you're giving your kids soda, please stop. Just stop. I don't mean special treats of a soda - Sprite, root beer, sarsaparilla - when you go out to eat for special times, but daily sodas. That is terrible for them. For you, too, but you're a grown up, so I can't be bossy boots to you. Ha. Also, try making your own root beer - infinitely better and doesn't have HFCS in it, YAY.)

Remember: if it's a plant, or lives off of plants, eat it. If it's FROM a plant, it's probably best that you skip it.

With love, Stoney. :)

(And I'm writing up a recipe I made up last night for sweet potato and shrimp soup with some curry and little "tater tots" made of diced shrimp and sweet potato. YUM.)



( 88 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
I absolutely agree with all this.

Interesting little side note -- Miss C has been an adventurous eater so far, but she's going through a little period of food pickiness. I've seen her say on different occasions when we've been visiting together, "I don't like that" or "I don't want it, it's yucky." But invariably when my sister gets her to try a bite or two, her response? "Yum!" Every. single. time.

Also, for those parents who swear their kid hates that one bite they tried, my sister tells me (from a developmental psych perspective) that people need to try foods seven or eight times before they really can rule out not liking them. Case in point, her BFF's kiddo, who hated eggs for a time, but after about twenty times of trying them? Now they're his favorite thing.

Kids! Also, sweet potato, om nom nom.
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
You know, I read a fascinating article that talked about how kids reach a certain age of mobility (their 2s or 3s, typically) that a natural instinct kicks in where they are picky. It's rooted in a primal fear/understanding that some things are poisonous, and they challenge their intake of items. So interesting! But then they get over it, if allowed to.

LOL at Miss C's "yum!" I just love that kid!!

And awesome that your sister - with Certified Credentials - is stating what my claim is: you give it to them, and after a few tries (I said 5 - 10) they'll eat it. I LOVE YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THIS, THANK YOU!!

<3 <3 <3

(And they were white sweet potatoes! Very delicate flavor!)
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
There is some research to support that breastfeeding your children gives them different flavours every day because of the mother's diet, thereby allowing them to be less resistant to new flavours when they eat solids.
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
I remember the doctors used to laugh at me when I told them that my son wanted to only eat vegetables and fruit, and was it a concern about his seeming lack of protein. They only wished the other parents had my problem. He didn't really have a problem, for the breast milk, cheese, beans and some lean beef he would eat, but given all the talk talk about protein I was worried. It turned out it was the fat on meat he hated. Though now sushi is one of his fav things to eat. Why was I worried. LOL
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha, that's awesome about your son's diet! I love that he hated the fat, too. We mostly eat venison as our red meat, which has little to no fat. I hate the fat on meat, too.

And what a great "problem" your son had with his food choices, huh? Awesome.
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
AHH and I have been talking about this a lot lately. We feed our pets a raw food diet and we ran out of food for them last week and had to go to kibble and the change was SHOCKING. And immediate. And we thought, if they have that much of a change, what would happen if we got strict with ourselves and did the same? Plus Puplet is going to be starting to eat in the next couple of weeks and we realized that we really want to be good role models for him as well. (Darn kids, making us better people! What's up with THAT?) Right now we're down to about 3-5 'bad' meals a week (incl. breakfast & lunch), but we are going to go whole-hog in March and just eat good meals for the entire month, no fast food at all, and see what happens. I am excited!

We also watched that Jamie Oliver talk this weekend ourselves. Very inspirational.

One thing that is really dismaying, though, is what I've heard about the lack of cheaply-priced good-for-you foods in a lot of urban neighborhoods. Often the good foods aren't even offered at the local stores, and some people have no way of getting to stores where they can get good foods. It's a real societal issue.
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
OMG, what an amazing thing, re: your dogs' diet! I would LOVE to hear about your change in diet - I know that you and AHH are very conscientious people, so this will be fascinating to me.

OMG, the lack of fresh foods for people is shocking. I heard yesterday that in the ENTIRE CITY OF DETROIT there is not ONE grocery store. Not one.

That is something that absolutely needs to be addressed, I completely agree with you on it being a real societal issue.
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
OMG I LOL'D SO HARD AT HOT DOGS ARE BUTTS. Because it's true. (We call them "pig lips and rectal tissue.")

Also: you should make some homemade rootbeer!! We do that once a month and it's DELIGHTFUL. Plus: major burping. MAJOR. (burps > farts, trufax.)

I am happy to rant on, then! <3
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)

And just so you know, I firmly FIRMLY believe that "picky eaters" are made, not born.

YES! I completely agree
People assume that toddlers will only eat PB&j, chicken nuggets and that infants only want mushed bland fill in the blank. I grew up eating a variety of Middle Eastern foods including soup made with tripe.

I once tested my baby girl at 7 months. She could choose between mushed sweet potatoes with no additional flavor or lamb curry full of flavor and texture. She chose the curry.
She loves a variety of foods and flavors.
At 19 months she eats spicier curries than most adults.

I think my current favorite read concerning babies and food is Hungry Monkey.
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm, tripe. I love that stuff when it has the dragon sauce on it, especially.

What awesome foods your child eats!! And now I'm totally hungry for curry...
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
I agree! For all of my infinite childless wisdom, lol. I kind of blame kids menus. Even at an awesome Japanese restaurant they have a kids menu with chicken nuggets and fries. My nephew always orders off the kids menu (he's 11)he doesn't eat much at all, so I don't think his parents would ever let him eat off the adult menu because there would be too many leftovers. Anyways, he always gets chicken nuggets and fries. I always get him to eat some of my food though. He's had squid and raw tuna and whatever other weird stuff I get. He really likes it too. I think if they had more "real" food on the kids menu, he would be eating much better than he does.

Whenever I get around to having kids they will never see the kids menu. They would either share with me, or I'd see about getting a smaller portion of whatever they want off the adult menu.
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD KID MENUS. yes yes a thousand times!! My kids get them (or got them) for the coloring, but they ordered off the regular menu. And if there are leftovers, eh, there's a great snack waiting for them the next day after school, says I.

My girls will sometimes split a full-sized portion, too, that's great that you're already thinking that way!
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
Hell to the yes to *all* of this. Kids who are fed a steady diet of chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes want....chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes. You'd think it would be obvious, but apparently it's not. My daughter eats sushi, for fuck's sake - snacks on the nasty seaweed wrappers and gets all longing and nostalgic for the Japanese place she went to with her cousin. I've never even *had* any sushi but the simple stuff she's made, it all came about 'cause her cousin and cousin's mom love that sort of thing so she ate it at their house.

And people who think it's 'cruel' to make their kid skip a meal or two are just insane.

My biggest problem is i loathe, loathe, loathe cooking. Hate it *so much*. So making decent meals is this huge, horrible chore that i despise. I *do* it. Not every meal, but the majority of meals. But i still hate it.

*why can't everybody just live on cheese and crackers? like me?!*
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, I knew someone that told me how "mean" I was for letting my child go to bed hungry one night because he was testing me on his dinner/eating something "weird." Did my child die in the middle of the night? No. Was he hungry as hell in the morning? Yep. And then he ate everything I gave him all day. Nothing wrong with that. (And it's not like we're in the "clean your plate!!" club. Take all you'll eat, go back for seconds, but don't load up if you're not hungry, that's just sensible.

I say you should adopt a raw diet, then! No cooking! :D
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Aw, yay Jamie!

And, after taunting me....do you happen to have a recipe for homemade root beer? Cause, I'd love to attempt that!

I wonder if you have seen this lecture on HFCS. It's long, but FASCINATING. Also frightening, but...
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
I'll have to dig around for the recipe, it's fairly simple. you just need to devote a pantry shelf in the back for 4 days to let it "cure." I'll reply back with the recipe!

Oooh, I'll watch that vid straight away, thank you!
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
As an ex-picky eater (maybe I'm still a bit picky: I will avoid clams if I can. But not shrimp. Bring me the shrimp. Just don't laugh when you see how incompetently I peel them), I will say yes to the studies.

Still, I have discovered lately that I'm a picky COOK. For the past two months, I have not tried to cook anything outside of my comfort circle of pastas and foil-baked meats. There is something either about the stove or the ingredients down here in the UK that makes any attempt by me at something more complex than toast a total disaster.

Oh, and don't worry - I'm eating my fruits and vegetables. I just never cook them. Sometimes I grate them if I'm feeling adventurous, but a deep scrape acros the pillow of thumb puts a damper on that for some time.

Also: kids menus. We don't have them in Poland. We just ask for half a portion. :D
Feb. 16th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Good way to put it, that you're a picky cook! I can understand that having had postage stamp-sized kitchens. And honestly, once my kids were old enough to help in the kitchen, I enjoyed it FAR more.
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Feb. 16th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
i'm a quiet new lurker here, but i simply must pop my head up to say I FREAKIN' LOVE YOU.

my high school and college summers spent as a nanny was full of baffled parents who didn't understand why i wasn't asking that sodas, juice boxes, cheese crackers and "chicken" fingers be added to the shopping list, but rather greens, and real whole foods. and how did their precious little darling know what a zucchini was, let alone ask for zucchini boats for a dinner treat. of course i used to have fun with some of the boys i looked after, and would come up with names sure to make them eat something. what normal American 4-6 y.o boy doesn't want to eat pesto and 'sgetti when it is aptly named Dragon Snot and Worms?
Feb. 16th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHA, I got the kids to eat hummus by calling it "creamy cat litter" and because my kids are weird like me, loved it. :D

Awesome testimonial, thank you for delurking! Feel free to do so anytime, we don't bite. :)
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree - I have a cousin who, at 30-something, eats nothing but chicken nuggets, french fries, pork chops with shake & bake coating, biscuits, and baked beans. Seriously. He has all kinds of horrid health problems (are you surprised?)

At our house, we require them to eat a bit of each item, though I do allow my kids to have one or two foods they won't eat (For example: My son has never been able to stomach peaches. As a four month old baby, he spat them across the room. Did you ever hear of a baby that wouldn't eat peaches? Me, neither. So we don't make him eat them. Peri can't stand tomato sauce (I know!) so when I make spaghetti, I fix a white sauce and soup it up with a little chopped broccoli or spinach.)

My mother was the pickiest eater ever, and I was very picky as a child - I credit the SCA with teaching me to eat all kinds of interesting foods. :)
Feb. 16th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm trying to expand my picky hubby's food horizons. Though it's slow going, and he seems to have a whole lot of food aversions and really serious issues with some tastes.

Still, he's willing to try, which is nice...
Feb. 16th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Well, without getting too TMI and all up in ya bidness, you *could* sweeten the deal for him if he tries things...

I'm just saying. :D
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Feb. 16th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
I knew a woman who claimed to have the world's pickiest eaters...every night she made one meal for her and hubby (governed by her own weird "rules," like chicken MUST only be eaten in a creamy sauce) and another for the kids (ALWAYS chicken nuggets or hot dogs. ALWAYS.)

Her family was at my house one night and her middle daughter asked for one of my salami "cakes." (Layers of hard salami and cream cheese with horseradish, cut in to bite sized wedges of yum) The kid smiled and wolfed it down, and the mother asked, "How is it? Is it yucky?"

Way to reinforce neurotic eating habits, there, lady.

My oldest used to sit in her high chair at 14 months old, chanting "PAD THAI! PAD THAI!" My middle daughter loves kalamata olives and feta cheese, and my youngest will eat any foodstuff involving capers. They all eat edamame AS A SNACK TREAT.

Encourage your kids to try EVERYTHING. Sure, there will be some things they don't like, but there will be even more stuff that they love. And, stop projecting your cracked up food issues on your kids, please. Dumb parents. Grrr.
Feb. 16th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
There are some awesome comments coming in, and I'm loving it. It's not about forcing your kids to eat EVERYTHING and ALL OF IT. It's about being positive, offering them new things, and not letting them eat pop tarts and diet coke for breakfast, right?

ALWAYS hot dogs? Oh, ick. Poor kid.
Feb. 16th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
My husband was a prime example of some one who was a kid with a mother that just fed him crap. His father was a picky eater so she never really bothered feeding her son anything other then what his dad ate. So he lived off pizza, chicken nuggets, pasta, soda, and skittles. I am still surprised he didn't end up having something like scurvy from just eating crap. He was also slightly chubby and didn't ever work out because he was always tired.

When we moved in with each other I told him sorry I'm not making you crap. I've never eaten that stuff and I am not going to start now.(I also can't eat anything with gluten in it and was raised mostly vegetarian due to it being healthier for my father because he has heart issues. As I have found because I never had junk food or processed food when I was younger I can't eat it. It makes me sick just to eat a few bites of things that are so heavily processed. )

Now he doesn't really eat any of that stuff (I can't really get him to fully kick the soda, which drives me nuts. I don't want our kids seeing him drinking it. And yeah its more then just a treat, he keeps cans of it in the house.) eats lots of fruits and veggies and will clean his plate of anything I put in front of him. He has also lost over a 100 pounds works out and says he just feels so much better then he used to. He also has lots more energy then he used to and all around much better for it.
Feb. 16th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
For me, eating is about enjoying the company, the tastes, and the feeling of energy afterward. I don't like eating until I'm sick. (or stuffed.) And I can't help but wonder if people who do that repeatedly aren't fooling themselves into why they have poor health. I mean, if you put crappy oil/gas in your car, it won't run well. Same for people, right?

I'm glad your husband feels so good. THAT'S what's important, not the scale, not the "x # of calories/fat grams" etc. Eating well = feeling well.
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( 88 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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