I have a confession my son is a picky eater and I have failed at expanding his food horizon. In the past, I scanned every parenting magazine, forum, and sought advice from friends. But nothing seemed to entice him to eat if he didn’t want to eat what was on his plate.
I am also guilty of catering to his whims, and have been known to cook two separate meals. One for him and one for us. However, our last supper turned into a disaster. I had made lasagna, fresh bread, and salad. What’s not to like?
My son looks at it, picks at it, twists it on his fork, his pleading eyes look at me, “Do I have to eat this?”
“You’re joking, right?”
“I don’t like lasagna!”
“Since when? You ate it without complaint the other week.”
“May I just be excused and go to my room?”
It was with that one question something inside me said, “No! You will sit there and finish it. It’s lasagna and there is nothing gross about it. So eat it.”
“Do I have too? I just don’t like the taste.’
“It tastes like spaghetti.”
“Fine. I’m not eating.”
“Fine. You sit there until it’s eaten.”
My husband looked surprised, my youngest son Robert gobbled his with delight, and Alex sat there with tears welling up in his eyes.
“I just don’t like it!”
“Alex do you even know what gross food is?”
“I don’t think so. How about this? You either eat this lasagna or I go to the store and purchase liver. I will come home and you can help me cook it then you will eat it. It will be then you will discover what gross food is!”
“I’m not eating it!”
“You won’t eat the lasagna then you sit at this table until I get back from the store.”
I went to the entryway, grabbed my keys, my purse, and put on my shoes. My husband looked up pale wondering if he too had to eat liver. He also knew that I meant business and sat quietly watching the events unfold before his eyes.
” This is your last chance! Eat the lasagna! Or I will leave, go to the store, and buy liver! You will then eat it and learn the meaning of gross. The choice is up to you.”
I then began the final countdown, hand on the door knob, ready to leave “10, 9, 8, 7, 6,5…”"
“Fine. I’ll eat the lasagna. I hate it but I will eat it.”
It with that one threat of liver which forced my picky eater to finish his plate of lasagna. I still shudder the thought of cooking liver and onions. Even I can’t stomach the stuff…
Do you have a creative solution to getting picky eaters to eat? Is there one food that you can’t stand the taste of?