Friday, January 7, 2011

A bit of a dilemma

My children do not like to eat very many things.  They don't like tofu.  They don't like any bean or any dish that a bean is in.  Z1 will tolerate burritos or tacos made with black beans but not Z2.  They both will tolerate split pea soup but not without some serious cajoling.  It seems all they want to eat are fish sticks, broccoli, pizza, grilled cheese, or macaroni and cheese, and yogurt (but Z1 not so much).  It drives me crazy because I think they eat too much cheese but it's what they like.  And granted, the cheese I give them comes from grass-fed cows and all that but still . . . 

So I don't know.  I'm feeling totally better after switching back to an all-out omnivorous diet.  I have not given the kids any chicken, turkey or beef.  My idea was that they could decide later on if they wanted to eat those things.  But I don't know now.  They're growing fine and are hitting all their milestones.  I'd say they are well-nourished but I worry and I wonder would they be more willing to eat things like grilled or stir-fried chicken or turkey burgers as opposed to grilled or stir-fried tofu and veggie burgers.  

I'm writing this after another failed attempt at dinner.  Tried a new dish in hopes that they'd like it:  it's a peanut sweet potato stew with kidney beans from Vegan Planet.  I tasted just a little and I think it's delicious especially with rice.  Initially, I was going to make sweet and spicy chili from the same cookbook but I already knew it would be a fail.

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10 comments:

liberationtheory said...

let me respond with a question.

are you keeping them on a vegetarian diet because you feel it's what's best for them or because it's what's best for you (your ideals)?

The Original Wombman said...

My ideals, of course! Which is why I'm so conflicted . . . I've had to let go of my ideals to be healthy. What if they are the same as me and actually don't do well on beans (and intuitively know to avoid them)?

Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

I'm not a parent. I don't understand this. So I apologize up front if I offend....

When I was a kid, there was no options. You ate what was in front of you or you got smacked and was still forced to eat it. Kids don't cook nor do they pay for food. Feed them what you think is best for them. They'll eat it when they get hungry

The Original Wombman said...

I have a lot of issues with food right now precisely because I was forced to eat it--threatened, hit, etc . . . . but I know that even as an adult, having dealt with all that, I'd rather go hungry than eat something I don't like. So the pickiness I know they get honestly . . . they say the thing with picky eaters is to offer a lot of variety and choices but I don't have the time to offer anything other than cereal or something equally simple if they refuse to eat the main meal. They don't pay for food but they sure can waste it . . .

The 21st Century Hippy said...

We don't hit or threaten or do anything like that, but we won't make another meal either. We just say "fine. Don't eat it. But this is dinner."

Bean tends to eat the same things every day, and he tends to snack all day long and then not eat much dinner. He eats a fair bit of cheese, lots of nuts, dried fruit, and loves granola. I've had to place limits on peanut butter, bananas, and cereal :)

When he refuses to eat dinner because he "doesn't like it," we'll pull things out of the food that he does like. We try to keep things out that he truly doesn't like - but he's also doing the picky toddler thing and he says he doesn't like things that he used to devour!

Food is such a touchy thing in our culture in general. If your body does best with meat, though, do you think that maybe your boys are the same way? Is it possible they are intuitively avoiding beans just like you do?

And how involved are they in making food? Bean is completely fascinated by what goes into our food, and I think he's less weird about it when he's watched what went in something start to finish. He also prefers meals with few ingredients - or anything with a "dip" (sauce, ketchup, dressing, whatever!). He gets funny with soups and stuff like that that is lots of ingredients combined (isn't that weird since a colorful soup is so appealing to an adult?).

liberationtheory said...

If I were in your position, I would offer them meat. Just like you wanted to let them decide when they got older if they wanted to eat meat, you can let them decide when they're older to become vegetarians.

And this is said ESPECIALLY because you said you've made your current choice best on what's best for you, not what's best for them.

It's just another way for them to have options and choices, which might help a picky child.

The Original Wombman said...

21st . . . I cosign with much of your post and I do think that maybe they know intuitively that beans are not good for them and I know that when they help to prepare the food, they are more willing to at least try it. I really wish my kitchen had a better set-up for them to be involved in food prep.

LT, you are absolutely right. I know for me, I don't eat a very many things but I hate to feel like I don't have the freedom to choose.

Shay said...

I also have a picky eater and while I have not been a vegetarian for a number of years, I generally limit my meat consumption. However the more non-meat meals I prepare the more likely it is my girl won't eat. Like your boys, if left to her own devices, all my girl will eat is mac & cheese, fruit, yogurt, cheese...you get the picture.

However I have noticed that when meat is served she gobbles it up, gone are the food wars. I admit because I only buy farm raised beef, etc and at $5 a lbs its costly that is one of my reasons for limiting meat. But I am starting to add meat more often, it sounds like you may need to do the same thing.

I have read all the stuff that says to offer kids choices and I was fine with that until I started to feel like I was running a diner. My girl is 5 and frankly always making a different meal is too tiring and eating yogurt and cheese instead of dinner every night does not sit well with me.

I say offer the boys meat and see how they respond.

The 21st Century Hippy said...

The best bit of food advice I've received was to evaluate kids' diets and the balance of what they eat over the course of an entire week- not a meal or even a day.

We also limit our meat intake due to cost- but looking at the week overall, when he won't eat some parts od some meals - he eats just fine.

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