I’ve started to notice that my sons, one in particular, are a lot less fussy lately than they used to be. While they probably eat a lot of things that other kids wouldn’t, because of being vegetarian, there was also always a long list of foods they avoided at all costs too.
Some, like raw tomatoes, were not even allowed on their plates or in salads, lest they contaminate other food. Others were just always left until last and then thrown away because the child in question suddenly became “full”.
However I wrote recently of the breakthrough when one of my sons decided to try a home grown tomato and actually managed to eat it. He has since decided he actually doesn’t mind tomatoes at all and is now eating them in salads and on their own. I honestly believed they’d both grow up never eating tomatoes, such was their distaste, but it seems anything is possible!
Another sticking point has been the skins of jacket potatoes, which were always left on the plate. I could never understand this as it’s my favourite part, but had pretty much resigned myself to it as no amount of bribery and corruption seemed to budge them.
Then last night we were eating veggie chilli on baked potatoes for dinner when my husband suddenly stopped and stared at our son’s plate.
“Are you eating the skins?” he asked.
“Yup” said my son, totally calmly and as if it was no big deal at all.
After much congratulating and fuss making, not to mention the promise of a treat afterwards, our other son said he could also eat his if there was a treat in it for him too (at which point I had to pick myself back up off the floor). I do realise that using sweet treats as a reward probably isn’t the best long term parenting strategy, but in this case it had the desired effect and both boys presented us with clean plates soon afterwards.
Those of you blessed with children who will eat whatever is put in front of them won’t appreciate the significance of this, but for us it was a real step forward. What’s more it seems that in general they are leaving less food and being more adventurous when it comes to trying new things, even slightly spicier foods.
I’m not sure what’s brought it on, whether it’s the thought of going to high school and wanting to act more grown up, whether their palates are finally maturing or whether it’s just a phase, but whatever it is I like it. Long may it last!