I May Need To Rethink This…

April 25, 2010 by Michelle

As a parent, I want my children to have a broad palate. I remember before having kids dreading the idea of my children only eating hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, something I couldn’t imagine doing myself. With that in mind, I instituted the chew-and-swallow rule early in the wee ones’ toddlerhood.

If it’s on your plate, you must take a bite large enough to satisfy me, and you must fully chew and swallow that bite before making a pronouncement. Granted, I’ve had to clarify that rule over the years, since it did originally start out as the “you have to try it” rule, which was open to far looser interpretations.

The wee ones have grown to accept it, and they know I’m not going to make them try things I truly don’t expect them to like. Mister Man avoids sauces of all kinds, so I won’t force him to try a fettucini alfredo, for example. And really, liver and onions? There’s no way I’d eat it, so I won’t push it on the wee ones.

Over the years, they’ve discovered (or remembered) that they really enjoy something from these requirements. And there are some things that we’ll just keep trying again later. As Mister Man keeps insisting ever since his field trip to the grocery store (seriously – it was a really fun field trip), “Mommy, as I get bigger my taste buds get bigger, too, and things I used to not like, I might like.”

Today we had a baptism to attend, and there was a lunch afterwards at an Italian restaurant. With Little Miss’s dairy allergy, it was a bit of a challenge to find something for her to eat with the family style meal. The bruschetta and the bread were unfortunately out, as they had dairy. And it would be two courses before they brought out something for kids.

I offered Little Miss a piece of calamari in the hopes that it might tide her over.

And she proceeded to eat at least half a family size platter of calamari. (And an entire monstrously large bowl of pasta with marinara, but we won’t talk about that now.) As I saw her continue to ask for more and more, I realized that maybe I should be a little more selective in what I offer her.

Maybe I’ll find something a little less expensive to offer her next time. Can you imagine the guy on his first date with her as a teenager when she starts ordering?



  • Tara R.

    My son, who won't eat fish of any kind, will devour calamari. It wasn't until after about a year, that I told him what it was beyond simply calling it 'seafood.'

  • Mary~Momathon

    I don't like seafood or anything “fishy”, so of course, I've never tried calamari.

    Maybe I should!

  • Unknown Mami

    I love it! I love seafood. Let her be an expensive eater. She's already got eating limitations.

  • Laura

    omg I love calamari, it is so so good at least she is not a chicken nugget kid right? I mean squid nuggets are better, yes?

  • MaBunny

    I love calamari! but yeah, also make her palate like less expensive things, lol – glad she liked it though

  • Pat

    That's a great way to discourage picky-eater syndrome! I was probably too harsh in my method…eat it now, or eat it later when you are hungry, even if that means eating it for breakfast, but nothing else to eat until you finish that brussels sprout. What a mean mama I was. But, anyway, the sons are not picky eaters today, so I didn't scar them for life!

  • Kori

    That makes me laugh; next time you will try it and she will hate it, though-isn't that the way it goes sometimes?

  • Karen

    Did you tell her what it was?

  • WeaselMomma

    The kid has great taste!

  • Michelle

    Tara – My uncle was there, and he kept saying squid, but I think she was too far away to notice. Then again, I think she's too young for it to bother her.

    Mary – I'm with you on not liking “fishy” things – which is why fresh is so key. Tuna and salmon are my friend… and well-cooked calamari rocks.

    Unknown Mami – That's very true. I was glad that she so easily found something to enjoy.

    Laura – The only chicken nuggets she eats are my homemade ones. Almost all the others have dairy ๐Ÿ™‚

    Marcy – Fortunately she also likes peas. And hummus. Other things that aren't too expensive. I may have to post what she was eating today though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Pat – It's working for us so far, although Mister Man still has a lot of texture issues (which is typical). It's still entertaining what they'll turn their noses up at though!

    Kori – Knock on wood, she won't. Usually once she likes something she's good with it. Mister Man is my guy who decides later that he doesn't like something (peas are now on that list).

    Karen – Ummm I told her it was calamari. Does that count?

    WeaselMomma – Hey, she takes after her momma, what can I say! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alexis AKA MOM

    You go girl no salad eating here! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

  • septembermom

    She's a much better eater than me! Wish I would try a few new things.

  • Mrs4444

    I don't blame her a bit-Calamari is awesome!

  • Mrs4444

    I don't blame her a bit-Calamari is awesome!

  • Michelle

    Alexis – What, no salad? C'mon, how did you get through dating without eating salad?

    Kelly – She knows she's required to try what I give her, so it isn't that *she* is so adventuresome necessarily. Plus, she was STARVING (her usual state) and didn't have many options.

    Mrs4444 – I know! I love it, too (although I first ate it far later in life than she did!). It's just … a little expensive to feed her regularly.

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