Musing: Fried Twinkies and Picky Eaters

 On Thursday, Cole made fried Twinkies to celebrate junk-food-day.

My head is throbbing. Do you think it could be from fried Twinkies? I only had one with my hazelnut coffee this morning. It was okay, but the one I had yesterday right after it was fried was much better. More about yesterday’s Twinkies in a little bit. Here, have one with lemonade while we muse together.

Cousin Carla is coming to visit next week and was wondering about our menu, which is why I have been slow to post the food-of-the-day calendar that some of you have requested. If you were visiting someone where the food menu went from fried Twinkies to penuche fudge, you might be a little hesitant to board that plane. As soon as Carla’s feet hit Chicago soil, I will post the calendar.

Someone recently mentioned to me that their kid was an extremely picky eater and asked if I had any tips to encourage their kid to try more things. I was flattered.

irst in the way of background – Joe and I grew up in different worlds when it came to food.  Joe could have eaten with Attila the Hun if the food was exciting and well-prepared. On our first date, he took me to a Vietnamese restaurant. It never occurred to him that I might not like Vietnamese food. Cole’s first meal was breast milk served with ribs; he was five days old when Joe gently inserted a rib into his mouth to gum. When Cole turned over one morning at about 2am and said, “Daddy, I am hungry,” Joe leapt from the bed like a superhero and raced to the kitchen to make him a sandwich. Notice that Cole told Joe he was hungry. Joe’s favorite meal of the day was dinner.

Food is low on my list of priorities. Where or what I eat is less important to me than who I am eating with.  I would not have dined with Attila the Hun.  I enjoy most foods, but mostly I enjoy ordinary foods. I breastfed Cole so I would not have to deal with making bottles. I held tight to my Gerber baby food jars while I was surrounded by friends pureeing and freezing food scraps in ice-cube trays. I let Joe handle all of the grocery shopping and most of the cooking. When Cole requested popcorn for breakfast three days in a row, I made it, but served it with orange juice because my mom told me that orange juice and making my bed would always get my day off to a good start. When I call Cole for dinner, he says, “Really?” My favorite meal of the day is breakfast.

I’m not sure the list that follows will raise a kid that will try new foods but it is how meals in our house have always worked.

  • It never occurred to us to cut the crust off bread. Ever.
  • Thank you bites. It is not necessary to like every food offered to you or placed on your plate. However, a thank-you bite shows gratitude to all the people who helped make that food on your plate possible. When Cole was little and didn’t like something he would take a small bite, look at me and say, “Thank you.” I never shared my food hang-ups with Cole. Just because I didn’t like it, didn’t mean he wouldn’t like it. In fact, I was excited when he liked foods that I didn’t care for.
  • Why not feed your family at home with your own values but be open to taking a chance when you go out. Unless your kid has a life-threatening or serious diet consideration, let them eat or not eat the food served to them at other people’s houses.
  • When Cole wanted to try new foods at restaurants, we never second-guessed him. If he ordered something he did not like then we wrapped it up and took it home. You have to try something to know if you like it. Cole was about five when he surprised us by asking our waiter if he could “try a taste” of what he wanted to order but was unsure of. The waiter grinned and said, “Sure.” Who knew?
  • Just because Cole did not care for something the first time he tried it did not mean he would not like it the next time he tried it. Like many kids, avocados did not appeal to him the first time he tried them. He learned to appreciate them later in guacamole.
  • When Joe cooked, I always said thank you at the end of the meal. When I cooked, Joe always told me it was the best meal he had ever had in his entire life. Do you think he exaggerated to encourage me to cook more often? Cole began saying thank you at the end of a meal without ever being asked when he was a tot. Now he often adds a hug. Do you think he was encouraging me to cook more often?

Will these tips work for your family? I have no idea, and I’m not even sure you should be taking tips from a mom who feeds her kid popcorn for breakfast and lets him deep fry a six pack of Twinkies.

Speaking of Twinkies… Cole’s fried Twinkies were really good. Why fried Twinkies? Well, why not!

(I keep forgetting to turn the I-phone side ways–silly me)

The penuche fudge is ready to try … I have to run … see you a little later, by the way, Saturday is Hot Dog and Vanilla Ice-Cream Day!

Odd loves comments … share your picky eater tips.


9 thoughts on “Musing: Fried Twinkies and Picky Eaters

  1. Fried Twinkie after seeing your kitchen..I think you are a Saint.
    Loved the Thank you bite tip-I will pass it along to my daughter-my adorable granddaughter is just about at that age.

  2. I think when you give up playing the control game it helps. I cared what my first kid ate and didn’t eat but by the time #3 came along I was like “whatever” and all 3 of my kids became much better eaters.

    Like your tips-we never cut the crust off bread either. It’s the best part!

    • I am sure a lot of things get easier by #3…the kids are all different but the parents have moved past the initial learning curve.

      The crust is the best part!

  3. Parents do need to let their children try new thing and stop making them “special” around food. Birthday parties have become a long list of what kids and kids can not eat. Unless the allergy is life threatening let the kid join in the community of eating. A mom made a such a big deal about washing hands before birthday cake last week that by the time she was done the kids didn’t want the cake.

  4. I feel a little guilty for keeping the food of the day menu from the masses. If I promise not to peek perhaps we could encourage Kb to post it. Besides, nothing is keeping me off that plane. I come from a place where home cooked dinner is an expectation every night. There is sometimes a thank you, occasionally a hug, but rarely the two together. Also since I am usually cooking for 5 or more there is always at least one person who does not like what we’re having. Are you kidding? I love going to visit the cousins regardless of what’s on the menu. Sometimes they cook, sometimes Cole lets me help, sometimes we go out but the company is always pleasant and the conversation is interesting.

  5. Pingback: Musing about the food of the day: Sundaes, Coffee Milkshakes and Near Death Experience

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