Subscribe to this Blog
Today's Blogs
    The Checkup:

6 Food Myths for Parents to Debunk

In the ongoing battle to try to ram nutritious food into our kids, the New York Times has identified “6 Food Mistakes that Parents Make.” The mythbusting effort is laudable – and the research marshaled is impressive – but there are good reasons most of these myths have stuck around.

Here is what the Times suggests that we should stop doing, and why I am (mostly) ignoring the advice:

Myth #1: Sending the kids out of the kitchen. The Times implies that I’m shooing the kids away because of the knives and hot pans. In reality, I keep them away from the process because time is of the essence (especially during the weekday pre-dinner “arsenic hour”). I understand that cooking with kids gives them an appreciation for the food. So would growing a full vegetable garden. But there are only 24 hours in the day. Something has to give.

Myth #2: Forcing them to "take a bite." I’ve found that the one-bite rule actually works well. It emphasizes that all food is actually edible and allows the kids to make an informed decision about whether the weird stuff on the plate is actually gross. Letting them make the decision before they put anything in their mouth seems overly deferential, and if the rule is enforced early and often, it becomes part of the fabric of dining, not some nightly battle of wills.

Myth #3: Making the "good stuff" hard to get. The Times says to only stock the house with healthy stuff and let the kids ransack the cupboard whenever they want. This is the most sensible advice in the piece.

Myth #4: Dieting in front of the kids. The problem doesn’t actually stem from dieting in front of the kids. It’s with dieting, period. If you eat what your kids should be eating – plenty of lean protein and nutrient-rich veggies – there’s no reason to be on any sort of silly restrictive diet.

Myth #5: Serving boring vegetables. The Times is all in favor of forgetting about plain steamed veggies and not being afraid to throw in a little butter, sugar or ranch dressing. This gets back to the fourth myth: You should serve veggies with a little of the tasty stuff because there's nothing wrong with a little butter in moderation, not as a sop to get kids to eat.

Myth #6: Giving up too soon. The myths article cites the oft-repeated advice that you need to put an item on the table 15 times before kids will actually make a decision on whether they an item. I’ve always wondered why a parent should stop at 15. Are there really some foods that a kid will never, ever eat, no matter how many times they are exposed to them?

In the interest of full-disclosure, I’m an eat-anything kind of guy (and have been since childhood), so I may not be coming at this completely objectively. Where do you all come down on this? Does the New York Times offer a better way of approaching the picky eater, or do you have better tried and true suggestions?

By Brian Reid |  September 25, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers , Tweens
Previous: Teachable Money Moments | Next: Turning Boys on to Reading

Comments


I read that article and thought, "Guess I'll keep doing what works in my house." I try to cook with the kids, but if time is an issue, and it often is, they're not allowed. I yell "Kids out of the kitchen" even if they're nowhere near the kitchen, and they know they need to ask permission to approach, basically. My kids don't yet help themselves to snacks, but that's a great idea to make the good stuff the lower hanging fruit. We enforce the "no thank you helping" rule at table and the kids are not allowed to say "ew, gross, disgusting" but can say "I don't care for any, thank you". I figure this will help carry them through dinners at friends' houses. We usually eat veggies raw and have never had a problem getting my daughter to eat them, and my son knows he has to eat as many pieces/spoonfuls as his age. Fruit is served at every meal. The dieting thing was good advice, I thought. Nothing like dieting out loud to pass along a crappy body image to your kids, especially the girls.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I agree that sending the kids out of the kitchen is a mistake. And not just in giving kids appreciation for the food.

"In reality, I keep them away from the process because time is of the essence (especially during the weekday pre-dinner “arsenic hour”). "

Figure out how to make the "arsenic hour" less toxic. It's a bogus excuse.

Posted by: You kids keep off of my lawn! | September 25, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Sure, its tougher but it is also fmaily. Let your kids in the kitchen. Will adding 15 minutes to the prep time really make life that much harder?

I'm the breakfast person at my house and my son (age 1) and I unload the dishwasher, make the families lunches, and breakfast (usually a cooked meal) each morning. Sure, I could do it by myself quicker but its more fun this way.

Posted by: kitchen | September 25, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

geez, if your child is so disruptive that you can't make dinner, maybe you need to figure that out instead of banning them from the kitchen.

Posted by: jen | September 25, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I must have entered an alternate universe today, because I actually agree with everything that Brian said.

Seriously, I cook with my boys, but only on weekends. That extra 15-30 minute delay on weeknights would have to come out of story or sleep time, and that's not a trade off I'm willing to make. What I do do is involve them in the meal "planning" and shopping. We spend a lot of time wandering the farmers market and the produce aisles at Wegmans and Whole Foods. I try to take them to Whole Foods when they're hungry, so they'll want to try every sample they see. DS#1 discovered an abiding love of asparagus when he tried it cold in vinaigrette the prepared foods section. Ditto DS#2 and poached salmon.

Posted by: two terrific boys | September 25, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I would add #7 - Introduce kids to different types of world food. There is so much different food in the world - Indian, Thai, Afghan, Ethipoian and more. Trying different food as a family is a bit of an adventure and teaches kids that it is okay to try and not like because you may try and love.

Posted by: Burke Mom | September 25, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

We eat a lot of different kinds of foods and started feeding our son bites from our plates at about 5 or 6 months. He's 14 months now and will eat just about anything. He does "take spells" (as my grandmother would say) where, for whatever reason, a particular food is out for a period of time. The oddest thing that he has eaten is probably grilled squid, which he gobbled up like it was cheerios! I think it's mostly about exposure and seeing Mommy and Daddy eat it.

kitchen, I am interested to know how exactly your 1 year old helps to unload the dishwasher. My son is very interested in the dishwasher, but I haven't figured out how to leverage that interest into help so any tips, tricks or advice would be very welcome!

WorkingMomX - I love your "no thank you" rule and I am going to adopt it at my house.

Posted by: VaLGaL | September 25, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

kitchen, I am interested to know how exactly your 1 year old helps to unload the dishwasher. My son is very interested in the dishwasher, but I haven't figured out how to leverage that interest into help so any tips, tricks or advice would be very welcome!

Posted by: VaLGaL | September 25, 2008 8:07 AM


Did you see "The Big Chill"?

Posted by: Jake | September 25, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

geez, if your child is so disruptive that you can't make dinner, maybe you need to figure that out instead of banning them from the kitchen.

Posted by: jen | September 25, 2008 7:55 AM


They are not so much disruptive -- it's a matter of safety (boiling water, opening oven doors, hot pots, etc.).

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"Introduce kids to different types of world food."

Make sure you scratch Chinese formula off their list of foreign foods to try...

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | September 25, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Did you see "The Big Chill"?


Posted by: Jake | September 25, 2008 8:11 AM

Nope. I generally don't like to model behavior on movies, but if you would like to elaborate, I am open to suggestion.

Posted by: VaLGaL | September 25, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I try to use the one-bite rule for the same reasons Brian says, but not if the food is odorous. I *can* know I hate liver without putting a piece in my mouth, thank you.
For arsenic hour, when we have time, we have a salad course (raw veggies) well before dinner, then finish cooking together. Somewhere between a healthy snack and a first course. It also helps when Dad is running late.

Posted by: inBoston | September 25, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

son - picky eater.
husband - picky eater.
husband's family - picky eaters
brother - picky eater as a child. not one now.
brother's kids - picky eaters.

i think there is a genetic & evolutionary compontent in the whole picky eater thing. you know, the picky eaters are less likely to die from eating something poisonious but in times of famine more likely to die of starvation.

i'm not a picky eater & i find it frustrating that with a whole world of interesting food out there that husband & son are not interested in trying anything new.

Posted by: quark | September 25, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Letting the kids help will ultimately give you BIG REWARDS in terms of time management later. We're one of those big ethnic families where everybody cooks -- dad, mom, grandma, grandpa -- and since the kids have been included since they were little, they can all put a meal together by themselves by the time they're in middle school. Big time savings on the nights I don't get home from work until late -- one of the kids can make dinner. (Ditto for including them in laundry. by the time they're in middle school, they can do their own laundry). Kind of hands on Montessori method at our house -- include them in doing every day things and don't assume it's beyond them. (I'm always amazed when I meet kids who are twelve or thirteen whose only experience with cooking is heating up a Hot Pocket in the microwave.)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

We had the house designed with a big, open kitchen - breakfast bar between prep area and eating area, and half-wall between eating area and family room so that everybody can see/be seen and interact. If kids are getting in the way during food prep time, they sit on the stools on the other side of the breakfast bar. We still get the interaction and they can watch us cook. Kids can even be assigned to sit on stools and help chop food/make salads.

Teens are starting to like to cook some foods themselves; WE can sit at bar and "supervise" them while ostensibly just chatting with them.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 25, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"Are there really some foods that a kid will never, ever eat, no matter how many times they are exposed to them?"

Sure. There are some things that you just don't like, so why should it be any different for your kids?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"Big time savings on the nights I don't get home from work until late -- one of the kids can make dinner. (Ditto for including them in laundry. by the time they're in middle school, they can do their own laundry). Kind of hands on Montessori method at our house -- include them in doing every day things and don't assume it's beyond them."

Copy that. The "family approach" to tasks tends to blur the gender/work distribution stuff and promote kids' self reliance.

Posted by: Yup | September 25, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

They are not so much disruptive -- it's a matter of safety (boiling water, opening oven doors, hot pots, etc.).

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 8:21 AM

Translated: I am too lazy to teach my kids how to safely operate in the kitchen, so I will raise kids who don't know how to cook, don't enjoy the kitchen, and then I will whine about how I do all the work in the kitchen. Finally, I'll assign them clean-up chores so they experience only the drudge of cooking. I will complain to my friends that my teenagers aren't why interested in learning how to cook when they are 10 - 16. Poor, poor pitiful me.

Posted by: Huh? | September 25, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Translated: I am too lazy to teach my kids how to safely operate in the kitchen, so I will raise kids who don't know how to cook, don't enjoy the kitchen, and then I will whine about how I do all the work in the kitchen. Finally, I'll assign them clean-up chores so they experience only the drudge of cooking. I will complain to my friends that my teenagers aren't why interested in learning how to cook when they are 10 - 16. Poor, poor pitiful me.

Posted by: Huh? | September 25, 2008 9:40 AM


Please get back to me with an argument that makes sense. Thx.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I will complain to my friends that my teenagers aren't why interested in learning how to cook when they are 10 - 16. Poor, poor pitiful me.

Posted by: Huh? | September 25, 2008 9:40 AM

WorkingMomX has far worse problems than this with her kids. Yes she is a whiner and a martyr.

Posted by: You nailed this one | September 25, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

WorkingMomX has far worse problems than this with her kids. Yes she is a whiner and a martyr.

Posted by: You nailed this one | September 25, 2008 9:49 AM


Better than being the sad individual you seem to be. Resorting to junior high behavior seems to be your forte.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

fr Anonymous:

>...Sure. There are some things that you just don't like, so why should it be any different for your kids?

I told DW (dear wife) that I will NOT eat: lima beans, liver, beets of ANY form and eggplant. ESP lima beans, as they look little green toes. She was requested to NEVER serve those 4 items, and we will be VERY happy together!

Posted by: Alex | September 25, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The truth must hurt or your denial wouldn't be so silly. Let's recap.

Your excuse for not having kids in the kitchen while you cook is, "they might get hurt". The response, "teach them kitchen safety so they won't get hurt". Your response, "Your argument doesn't make sense".

Let's dumb it down some more so you get it this time. There are only 15 words so your attention span ought to be able to handle it:

Teach your kids how to act in the kitchen so they will not get hurt.

Teaching kitchen safety is a fundamental obligation of parents, moreso than pool safety or bike safety. Once you have completed your basic assignment as a parent during the preschool years but no later than 4, you can progress to Parent Kindergarten which is where you begin to teach your kids how to cook.

Posted by: Get Real | September 25, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Please get back to me with an argument that makes sense. Thx.


Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 9:44 AM

"Kids out of the kitchen"
You aren't teaching your kids about money. You don't know jack about your kids' school lockdown stuff. Your stepdaughter hates you...that's just from this week!

Posted by: Sense this | September 25, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree with everything Brian said and WorkingMomX, too. We have the no saying "ewww" rule at our table, too. When one of my boys was 4, a friend took him to a Chinese buffet. He pointed out all the things he wanted on his plate even though she tried to deter him from squid & mussels. She kept asking him if he was sure and his reply was "if I don't try it, how will I know if I like it?" All of my boys are good eaters and very willing to try new things. They also like to work in the kitchen with me but when time is short (because of impending homework, soccer practice, etc) I give them peripheral duties like setting the table, making the salad. It allows them a sense of ownership even though they didn't "cook". Weekends are a different story when the pace is much more relaxed-then we have some fun in the kitchen.

Regarding a 1 year old helping with the dishwasher: Years ago, I rearranged my cabinets so some things were on the bottom shelves: plastic containers & cups, cookie sheets.

Posted by: momof3boys | September 25, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Sticks and stones, kids. Won't work on me, though. I have a tough skin, probably due to all the intense hatred from my stepdaughter, my ignorance at what's going on around me, etc.

You obviously haven't been paying attention. (More junior high behavior.) I've been posting on this blog and On Balance for too long to be bothered by trolls. Try harder, or pick a different target.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

You obviously haven't been paying attention. (More junior high behavior.) I've been posting on this blog and On Balance for too long to be bothered by trolls. Try harder, or pick a different target.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 10:04 AM

If the trolls didn't bother you, you wouldn't respond, nitwit!
Morons are natural targets. Duh.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Oh, look, more name calling. What a shocker.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 25, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

You ladies are going to wear out your handbags from swinging them at each other.

My rant to the writer: Please please please stop using the word "veggies". The Times does it too and it drives me crazy. This is a grown-up newspaper, you're not writing for five year olds.

Posted by: Jeff_N | September 25, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Since there are a few foods that DH and I will absolutely not eat, our house now has a rule that each person, adults and kids, can pick one food (two max) they never have to eat (for me, it's peanut butter). No questions asked. Otherwise it is the same "one bite" rule that I grew up with (one bite, no saying "ewww", no parental comments). So far, so good.

Posted by: Ishgebibble | September 25, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

My rule #1 is - don't sweat it. So what if DD doesn't want to eat anything much today, or doesn't like what I've prepared? That's her choice. We don't keep cookies etc in the house, and we offer frequent, healthy snacks, so she won't starve. Rule #2 is - always prepare family meals. No one gets a "special" meal, not me nor DH either. You get what you get, and it's up to you whether you want it. DD doesn't eat broccoli, but that's what I serve. I've explained that when she has a job, is paying her own way in life, and is buying her own groceries, then she can decide what she serves and eats. Others have told me she eats well, but I honestly don't really focus on it so I can't comment. We spend most of the time at meals talking rather than focusing on what everyone else is eating. Sometimes she wants to keep me company whilst I cook, and sometimes not. If she does then, we get to nibble on bits of vegetables whilst we're cooking.

Posted by: DopeyMummy | September 25, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Teach your kids how to act in the kitchen so they will not get hurt. "

Nice thought, and good advice. But then those darned laws of physics keep popping up - you know, the law that says two objects can't occupy the same physical space at the same time?

At times, there's just no room in the food prep area of the kitchen for more people. At certain times, he/she who's cooking needs to be able to move quickly from chopping area to stove area to sink area and back - and another individual underfoot is counterproductive. It's not just the kids who get shooed away - MIL comes in for that treatment, too.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 25, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"I told DW (dear wife) that I will NOT eat: lima beans, liver, beets of ANY form and eggplant. ESP lima beans, as they look little green toes. She was requested to NEVER serve those 4 items, and we will be VERY happy together!"

Alex- learn to cook! One of the advantages to being the chef is that the chef has more control over the menu than does any other family member. "Hmm, what do I want to cook tonight? How about my favorite stuff?" :-)

(No, the chef doesn't have TOTAL control over the menu, just the biggest input.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 25, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

My rant to the writer: Please please please stop using the word "veggies". The Times does it too and it drives me crazy. This is a grown-up newspaper, you're not writing for five year olds.

Posted by: Jeff_N | September 25, 2008 10:21 AM

Ha, ha! Veggies is dumb and so is "food bridges"! WTF! Dump the food on the plate and serve! I also hate the "OUR school" crap....

Posted by: LOL! | September 25, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I've got twin (almost) three-year-olds, one of whom shows a great deal of interest in cooking. He certainly loves my cookbooks! When the time comes, I'm hoping to enlist him into helping out daddy in the kitchen. Something like shelling peas, mixing batter. It might get messy, but won't be dangerous.

That much having been said, why all the ranting about kids in/out of the kitchen? Once you take into account cabinets, I've got a 4' by 6' work space. If I'm making stir fry, that's a very hot pan with hot oil and I'm working solo. If I've got a slow cooking sauce, I can keep it from the edge and am happy to chat while working.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | September 25, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Laughing out here at this discussion. Just another example of how we pander to our kids. That's right, I really want my 6, 3 and 1 year old running under foot when I'm trying to cook. Are you really advocating this? Hello, cooking involves knives and hot things that can cause third degree burns. Yes, I want my kids to hone their fine motor skills, but maybe they can do things like play with bags of glass or sort sprinkles by color for that.
They can get cooking instruction in home economics classes when they get older. That way, I can sue if they get cut or burned.

Everyone eats the same dinner at our house. If they don't eat it, they go hungry. This has always been the rule. I am not a short order cook. I put the food on the plates, and they eat what's in front of them. Kids like RULES. Try it sometime.

Posted by: Go Sarah NOT | September 25, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

That's right, I really want my 6, 3 and 1 year old running under foot when I'm trying to cook.

Posted by: Go Sarah NOT | September 25, 2008 10:50 AM

3 kids!! Dang. Is there some kind of global population shortage going on that I missed in all the papers ???

Posted by: Stop the breeding! | September 25, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I've always had trouble with the notion that getting kids involved in the kitchen will get them to eat better. My kids like to cook but that doesn't mean they'll eat the result. I make sauces for myself but let the kids eat the meat or pasta or whatever plain. I had completely unsophisticated tastes as a kid despite parents who enjoyed gourmet cooking. When I got older that changed.
So my theory is: make healthy food available; expose kids to a variety of dishes; don't make food a battleground; accommodate individual tastes where possible and wait for the kids to grow up.

Posted by: anne | September 25, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

No, you jackass, the youngest is mine and the older two were adopted after we fostered them. Anything else you'd like to add?

Posted by: Go Sarah NOT | September 25, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

No, you jackass, the youngest is mine and the older two were adopted after we fostered them. Anything else you'd like to add?

Posted by: Go Sarah NOT | September 25, 2008 11:02 AM

Yes. Thank God the older two don't have your DNA...

Posted by: Get over yourself | September 25, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

God willing, you haven't procreated at all. We need fewer losers on the planet.

Posted by: Go Sarah NOT | September 25, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Your writing is so confusing. Am I suppossed to be following the rules or not?

Posted by: wait............... | September 25, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I hate this blog: everyone is negative, dismissive and snarky. Parenting is wonderful, hard work and all this divisiveness needs to be redirected to something positive. It doesn't matter if the topic is light (food habits) or heavy (sex education) everyone has to weigh-in with their cleverness.

Rule #1 is: Just because someone else is doing it different doesn't mean they are doing it wrong.

Posted by: Yo' Mama | September 25, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter if the topic is light (food habits) or heavy (sex education) everyone has to weigh-in with their cleverness.

Posted by: Yo' Mama | September 25, 2008 11:58 AM

Pot meet kettle.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Thank God the older two don't have your DNA...

Posted by: Get over yourself | September 25, 2008 11:09 AM

Get overyourself, nasty troll. Your venom makes you a perfect poster child for birth control -- or abortion.

Posted by: STFU | September 25, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I tried reading this blog and looking for helpful advice or 'tales from the front' in the comments. However, I was turned off by the mean spirited jabs that some folks feel compelled to toss out in this anonymous forum. I came back to take a look again today after being away for 6 weeks...and nothing's changed!

I wish these comments were monitored, like those in the New York Times. The name calling and other crap doesn't add to the discussion. Hey, Washington Post: You are losing online readership because of this! How many others will stop visiting this blog because they are tired of this?

Posted by: karen | September 25, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I tried reading this blog and looking for helpful advice or 'tales from the front' in the comments. However, I was turned off by the mean spirited jabs that some folks feel compelled to toss out in this anonymous forum. I came back to take a look again today after being away for 6 weeks...and nothing's changed!

Posted by: karen | September 25, 2008 12:29 PM

No guts, no glory.
The blog is classic narcissism begging to be skewered.

Posted by: Water seeks its own level | September 25, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

the idea about keeping unhealthy stuff out of the house seemed tough to me. we used to always have half gallon or so of ice cream in the freezer with the idea it was there for ever once in awhile, not everyday. but our son didn't really get that delayed gratification thing. so we have tried to keep all such unhealthy food out. It's working rather well-- when our child gets a craving for something unhealthy, he can ask his father to walk down to the corner market and use his allowance for it.

I thought it would be tougher than it actually is-- sort of like when i feared giving up cable, but we've been without for years now and don't miss it-- just watch netflix when we have spare time.

anyway, I recommend it. no more battle over what to eat at home, because I know that everything in the kitchen is healthy.

Posted by: myth#3 | September 25, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I saw the NYTimes piece and just thought it was parenting 101 material.

Both boys will eat nearly anything. Pretty unusual to have a kid with autism who isn't a picky eater, so DH and I are grateful for it. We spent last week end at my sister's house, and were served sushi, cheese and crackers (Brie and Gouda), tossed green salad with smoked salmon, crudites. No one complained or starved.

Older son will help with cooking when he's drafted. Younger son loves to cook. His current specialty is week end breakfasts. He likes adding various things to scrambled eggs, and so far his experiments have been consistently delicious.

I was a pretty picky eater when I was a child. Once I met DH, I found out I wasn't a picky eater after all. Things I hated when my mother cooked them, turned out I loved them when DH cooked. He's a really good cook, and Mother still isn't. One of the family jokes is from the Thanksgiving when DH took over my parents' kitchen and prepared the entire meal. My father said it was the best Thanksgiving he'd ever had and DH could come back every year. Mother was less than thrilled, and it never happened again.

Posted by: Sue | September 25, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

sorry-- I realize I should say that he askes his father if they can walk togehter to the corner market. He would never just ask his dad to purchase something for him as most of the fun for him is doing this himself. He'll be wanting to walk down to the corner store by himself for this stuff very soon and I don't know when I'll be comfortable with that-- maybe 7?

Posted by: regarding myth #3 | September 25, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"I was a pretty picky eater when I was a child."

I don't blame you, might be poison given your upbringing..........

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

My father said it was the best Thanksgiving he'd ever had and DH could come back every year. Mother was less than thrilled, and it never happened again.

Posted by: Sue | September 25, 2008 1:46 PM

Okay, Sue. Who is paying you to post this dreck?

Posted by: God, give me strength | September 25, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Liz Kelly is an ArmyBrat!!!!

Liz Kelly: I don't know that moving around would be any riskier for a kid than staying put in Hollywood or New York, surrounded by sycophants and paparazzi lenses. I think if a family is at core stable, that stability travels well.

Of course, I speak as an Army brat who moved so much I had whiplash by the time I was 18. Despite a little stress over always being the new girl, I actually enjoyed it. I loved loved loved having a new room and a whole new house every 24 months. It was exciting.

And there are worse places the Brangie brood could be calling home.

_______________________

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/09/19/DI2008091901058.html

Posted by: I feel sick | September 25, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I can understand not having kids in the kitchen all the time, but it is sensible to make at least one meal a week "family-style" so the kids start learning how it works and how to cook for themselves.

Will kids never like something? Yes. Will some kids like things in five years that they don't now? Yes.

Being a picky eater gets a bad rep, just like being shy and not making friends easily. There's a ton of pressure to "be like others" and "be outgoing."

If I'm happy eating my stuff every day, why can't you let me just enjoy my stuff? I know it's harder with kids and I am fine with a mom who doesn't make a special meal for one kid just because the kid doesn't like a food, but why needlessly push on them that their taste buds aren't performing to standards again and again? Would you tell them they had to wear the same shirt every day if they said they didn't like it? Why the pressure?

Posted by: Liz D | September 25, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Liz Kelly is an ArmyBrat!!!!"

Who's Liz Kelly?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 25, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

AB - Don't you know anything? Liz Kelly is the leader of the lizards. She writes the Celebritology blog.

Posted by: Emily | September 25, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"AB - Don't you know anything?"

Nope; apparently not. :-)

I never read Celebritology; it's just never interested me. But hey, I'll assume that Liz is just doing it for the money. (That's what *she* said - ba dump crash!)

But I'll give her some points for the upbringing - us military brats have to stick together. It can be a pretty cool way to grow up.

And if she produces Hax's discussions, that's extra bonus points. Weingarten, not so much but nobody's perfect.

(Faux German accent) I know nothing; I see nothing. (/Faux German accent)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 25, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

While I do gently coax my son to try new foods, I don't require it. I just don't see the point of making it a rule. My son will try new stuff usually, but on occasion, he says no, and I figure it's his right. And while I don't make separate meals for everyone's tastes, I do consider what the overall tastes are when preparing meals. For example, I hate and won't eat okra. So I wouldn't make dinner with it as the only vegetable. If I make such accommodations for myself, I also am willing to make them for others in my family, including the kids. I don't think meals should be a power struggle.

Posted by: Emily | September 25, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

She used to produce the Hax discussions, but not anymore. She still does Weingarten though. I agree. I like Hax better.

Posted by: Emily | September 25, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

She used to produce the Hax discussions, but not anymore. She still does Weingarten though. I agree. I like Hax better.

Posted by: Emily | September 25, 2008 2:48 PM

Hax is a pretentious bore. Kelly is an unabashed celeb ho.

Posted by: Keeping it real | September 25, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Sue. Who is paying you to post this dreck?

Posted by: God, give me strength | September 25, 2008 2:05 PM

You.

Why haven't you been responding to the bills I've sent you? Do I need to turn this over to a collection agency? You do understand that failure to settle this matter will have a negative effect on your credit rating, don't you?

If you've already sent your payment, please disregard this reminder.

Posted by: Sue | September 25, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I remember when I was a kid, I refused to eat the pistachio pudding my grandmother made me for dessert. She kept on begging me to try it and kept on asking me how could I not like something if I hadn't at least tasted it. I never told her my excuse, but...

It looked like a bowl of snot!

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | September 25, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"It looked like a bowl of snot!"

My point exactly. Sometimes, things just look disgusting, and that is reason enough, IMO, to not want to eat it. My mouth, my tastebuds, my choice. I figure if I feel that way, my kids have the right to make the same decision.

Posted by: Emily | September 25, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Hi Emily!

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | September 25, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

That's pretty funny Whacky Weasel, and I refused to eat steamed oysters for years and years because they "looked like Jolly Green Giant boogers." Yep, that is a direct quote of my 5 year old self. Now, all oysters better look out!

I saw a chicken killed the old fashioned way and watched it run around the barnyard with no head when I was maybe 7. I wouldn't eat chicken or eggs for a couple of years after that - luckily I didn't know that many foods contain eggs, you know, like cake! I still get slightly skeeved out when my DH roasts a whole chicken, but I get over it. Funny how our experiences (or lack of them) can effect the way we see food.

Posted by: VaLGaL | September 25, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

My MIL won't eat raisins because they look like rabbit poop.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | September 25, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

fr ArmyBrat:

>...Alex- learn to cook! One of the advantages to being the chef is that the chef has more control over the menu than does any other family member. "Hmm, what do I want to cook tonight? How about my favorite stuff?" :-)

I am an excellent cook, and DW and I take turns cooking. I just won't eat lima beans, beets (EWWWW!), liver, or eggplant. Nope, no way, no how. In turn, she's not crazy about hamburger helper salisbury steak, so we don't have that one.

Posted by: Alex | September 25, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

How do I report abuse?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Hi Whacky.

Val Gal,
I too saw my pet chicken killed and eaten for dinner. I don't remember it running around without a head, but I do remember our cook twisting its neck to kill it.

Strangely enough, I love roasted chicken anyway. It seems to have left little traumatic scars, but then again, I'm a tough cookie.

Posted by: Emily | September 25, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Eat feces! 40 trillion flies can't be wrong!

Posted by: For you complaining parents | September 25, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised the Times article didn't mention involving the kids in food shopping. That's been, hands down, the best way that we've found to introduce DD to a variety of foods. At least one a week, I let my daughter pick out a new vegetable, and we eat it that night. Not only does it expose her to a greater variety of foods, but it forces me out of the "broccoli, carrot, green bean" vegetable rut. And she gets so excited to try the "special" food she picked out.

Last week, she chose mushrooms, the only food that neither DH or I ever eat. We still don't like them, but DD gobbled them up! It was a good reminder to us to make sure she gets to eat things that we may not otherwise be inclined to make.

Posted by: NewSAHM | September 25, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

They can get cooking instruction in home economics classes when they get older. That way, I can sue if they get cut or burned.

Posted by: Go Sarah NOT

So the schools can teach your kids to cook? Nice abdication of a basic parenting skill. Will the schools be teaching your kid sex education, hygiene and consumer finance, too, since you can't be bothered? Is there anything you're willing to teach them or is your plan to have 4 more and let society teach them all 7 the basics?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse


So the schools can teach your kids to cook? Nice abdication of a basic parenting skill. Will the schools be teaching your kid sex education, hygiene and consumer finance, too, since you can't be bothered? Is there anything you're willing to teach them or is your plan to have 4 more and let society teach them all 7 the basics?


Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse


Whoops, I forgot it takes intelligence to see through sarcasm. And we all know you're lacking in that category . . .

I have no intention of teaching my children their way around the kitchen at their tender young ages. Later, they'll have chores to do in the kitchen, including cooking dinner or assisting, and clean up. For now, they can be kids. Every family does it differently. Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you post what your family does, have constructive dialogue with others on the blog if you like, or shut the hell up. For a change, I mean. I triple dog dare you.

Posted by: Go Sarah NOT | September 25, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I come from a mother that literally taped herself saying "eat" on both sides of a 30 minute cassette tape, then sat that at the table while I still refused to eat. I think I've come pretty far in the land of "don't ruin your kids' eating habits."

I tend to send the kids out of the kitchen only if it's a time issue. I try to let them help; they tend to help mainly with desserts or sides but I think it's healthy if they have a hand in preparing their own food; they're more apt to try it, I believe (they're 7 and 5).

Myth 2: We don't force them to try something. It was explained long ago that they're expected to eat what's presented. You can't say it's nasty if you haven't yet tried. it. (Mind you, Brussels sprouts are my fave (both of them have eaten one, and no more; other veggies...no problems)).

Myth #3: We tend to make fruits a healthy snack. Our drawback is chips and the occasional Twinkie. They ask first and we usually acquiesce on the weekends (I'm imagining now how many Twinkie's it'll take to get to childhood obesity).

Myth #4: Can't really talk on this; neither of us is overweight. Rather than engage in eating whatever we want, though, we talk to them about what they eat and how it affects them.

Myth #5: I will jazz up broccoli with cheese or add a pinch of popcorn butter salt to greens/spinach. But again, I realize my kids have an affinity for trying anything.

Myth #6: Don't give up. I am a firm believer in leading by example. Yes, the kids have caught me w/Starburst when I thought they weren't looking (why're they always looking?!) but honestly, if you want healthy kids, promote healthy eating habits. It'll sink in whether it appears to be working or not.

I offer no magic pill for getting your kids to eat veggies. All I can say is keep trying and trust in your attempts. If I've succeeded in nothing else here tonight, at least it's been therapeutic for me!

View my personal blog at www.whatnowandwhy.blogspot.com

Posted by: PrincessMe | September 25, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I come from a mother that literally taped herself saying "eat" on both sides of a 30 minute cassette tape, then sat that at the table while I still refused to eat. I think I've come pretty far in the land of "don't ruin your kids' eating habits."

I tend to send the kids out of the kitchen only if it's a time issue. I try to let them help; they tend to help mainly with desserts or sides but I think it's healthy if they have a hand in preparing their own food; they're more apt to try it, I believe (they're 7 and 5).

Myth 2: We don't force them to try something. It was explained long ago that they're expected to eat what's presented. You can't say it's nasty if you haven't yet tried it. (Mind you, Brussels sprouts are my fave (both of them have eaten one, and no more; other veggies...no problem)).

Myth #3: We tend to make fruits a healthy snack. Our drawback is chips and the occasional Twinkie. They ask first and we usually acquiesce on the weekends (I'm imagining now how many Twinkie's it'll take to get to childhood obesity).

Myth #4: Can't really talk on this; neither of us is overweight. Rather than engage in eating whatever we want, though, we talk to them about what they eat and how it affects them.

Myth #5: I will jazz up broccoli with cheese or add a pinch of popcorn butter salt to greens/spinach. But again, I realize my kids have an affinity for trying anything.

Myth #6: Don't give up. I am a firm believer in leading by example. Yes, the kids have caught me w/Starburst when I thought they weren't looking (why're they always looking?!) but honestly, if you want healthy kids, promote healthy eating habits. It'll sink in whether it appears to be working or not.

I offer no magic pill for getting your kids to eat veggies. All I can say is keep trying and trust in your attempts. If I've succeeded in nothing else here tonight, at least it's been therapeutic for me!

View my personal blog at www.whatnowandwhy.blogspot.com

Posted by: PrincessMe | September 25, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company