The boy is eating pasta people!! Yep, you heard me right PASTA. In fact, Teddie has asked for it almost every night . One night last week we had all-day breakfast for dinner, sausage, hash browns, toast and penne pasta, he cannot get enough of it. We are certainly not complaining as it has taken years in the making to get to this point. I would very much like to say we all sit around the kitchen table all eating the same food but, the fact is we don’t, Is it a pain in the arse? yes, of course, it is but, ask yourself would you eat something you didn’t like.
I think there is a real misconception around the “perfect family”, modern technology such as social media allows us to see each others family dynamics, what next door are having for dinner, or how far Joe Blogs has ran this weekend. My point is, all these things are what people want you too see, they don’t show you they often eat a frozen pizza on their laps in front of the T.V. We do all the above, days where I have made a semi mess-free dinner we will all sit in the lounge and eat while watching either The Middle or The Goldberg’s. Not everyone is lucky enough to sit around a table and eat together, some families choose to feed their children first then cook again for themselves and partner, there is no right and wrong here, do what works for you.
As a child growing up in the 80’s we ate what was put in front of us whether we liked it or not or we went hungry, however, times were a lot different then. For my sisters and I, we were lucky that our parents always made big wholesome dinners especially in the autumn & winter but in the summer we lived on Twizzlers, chicken drummers and chicken Kiev’s mainly because they were cheap and easily made. Money was the main issue for many households in the 80’s so wasting food was not an option but I know my parents never made us food if we didn’t like it. Money is still very much an issue in many households, especially of late, for us we save money by cooking what we all individually like.
I do not believe for a second when all those ‘perfect parents’ out there say their children eat whatever is put in front of them, I roll my eyes at you all. As children grow up their taste buds are constantly changing, having a 17-year-old, a 13-year-old and a 7-year-old I can tell you the foods the boys ate as infants changes as they grow up and they start deciding for themselves what they like and dislike.
Gareth and I have always encouraged the boys to think for themselves and allow their voices to be heard, even as younger children we treated them with the same value as we treat each other so why should food be any different.
For us, mealtimes are particularly complex as we have two children with sensory issues. For the past 2 years Alfie has become extremely sensitive to certain foods, he struggles with the textures of pasta’s. lasagne is always off the menu for him as the sheets are too much for him, Teddie wouldn’t entertain lasagne as he doesn’t eat any of the ingredient in it, I do not eat mince so I wouldn’t eat it either. Both Gareth and Harvey love lasagne, I am more than happy to make them one as they are the main eaters in the house. We very rarely all have the same dish at mealtimes, to accommodate everyone’s likes and dislikes I am more than happy to make a million and one different dishes to accommodate everyone’s changing taste buds.
As baby & toddler, Teddie would eat everything that was put in front of him, it was only till he was around 3-years-old when his sensory issues started. Teddie is an extremely good eater but he’ll only eat the foods he likes;
Sweet and sour chicken balls (minus the sauce)
waffles (sweet & savoury)
Bread (by the loaf)
Fruit has never been an issue for Teddie whereas vegetables are another story but we still put a tiny portion on his plate with the hope he will eat it.
Many years ago I read an article on fussy eaters, an American doctor raised the importance of offering a tiny amount of food to a child’s plate even when you know they will not eat it, as one day they may just try it and find they like it. We have been doing this for a while now and it has finally paid off, Teddie is much more open to trying new foods, school dinners have certainly help with this. Since Teddie has been in Junior school he has become aware of what other children are eating, probably because all the children are eating in their classroom together.
Teddie has a packed lunch majority of the week, although the school menu contains lots of foods he eats there are normally lots of sauces or gravy involved so he’s better just having lunch from home. Is his packed lunch the healthiest? Probably not, but I know he’ll eat everything in it, we wouldn’t want our boy going hungry.
Try to take the pressure of mealtimes by giving your loved ones the foods they like and not the foods you force upon them as their anxieties around foods will only grow stronger. Instead, sit together as a family and enjoy one another even if that means you all eating something different while watching the T.V.
We love our Bear and wouldn’t have him any other way.