(Don't forget to come visit me at my new blog -- Mission: Possible)
There are many things that my taste buds just do not appreciate. Onions, sour cream, mayo, peppers, broccoli, onions, scalloped potatoes, fish (or any seafood, really), onions, milk, mustard, egg salad, potato salad, green beans just to name a few...oh -- and did I mention onions?
When I was a kid, I always had to try things and finish what was on my plate whether I liked it or not. I paid my dues. Now, as an adult, I like to think that I have earned the right to stay away from the foods/drinks/condiments that I just do not enjoy.
Recently, I was part of a conversation where parents were saying that now that they have young children, they are having to stomach some of their not-so-favorite foods so as not to influence their children's reactions. They thought that if they let on that they didn't like a particular food, their children would take on that attitude of said food without giving it a fair shot.
My reflections on that are a little bit different. Yes, I think it's important for kids to not only eat healthy -- but to give things a try that they might not ordinarily choose for themselves. Whether they like it or not. They do need to make up their own minds about things, and not just conveniently claim someone else's opinions as their own.
But why should I suffer...again?
My kids know that I do not like milk, peppers, onions, etc. But I tell them that not everybody has to like everything. If we were all the same and all liked the same things, it would be boring. Everybody needs to decide for themselves if they like something or not.
Yes, it may sound like a cop-out just so that I don't have to endure barely-keeping-myself-from-throwing-up swallowing...but I also think that honesty is important. Why pretend that I like something if I really don't? It doesn't make me a bad person because I don't like green beans.
However, I also want to teach my kids respect -- so if we are over at someone's house and there are green peppers in the pizza buns...I will do my best to choke them down. Unless of course it's at my mom's place, in which case I would pick them out -- actually, in which case she would make separate ones for me and my brother-in-law who don't eat peppers!
(Hey -- I may be a grown woman...but if someone wants to go to extra measures to make sure I will enjoy the meal that they have prepared for me, I'm not going to stop them!)
Thankfully my kids are not overly picky eaters like their mother. Joelle especially is a very good eater. Some of her favorite snacks are red peppers (or any veggie actually...cooked lima beans are another favorite!). I want them to have an open mind, but I also want to give them the right to decide that they don't like something.
That doesn't mean I won't force them to eat it, though. And when I'm asked why they have to and I don't, I simply look at them and say:
"Well, I had to when I was a kid!"