When it comes to how people parent, everyone has an opinion. Parenting is not easy! It is probably one of the most difficult jobs a person can have. My husband and I both work full time. We both have demanding jobs, which require us to be on call most of the time. Needless to say, we are busy people at work and when we get home the work doesn’t stop. We have two beautiful children, who are some of the pickiest little eaters. Over the years we have learned many lessons.
One of the biggest lessons is knowing which battles are worth fighting
When we come home, we are both exhausted and do not want to think too hard about what to eat. This is where meal planning comes into great use. The other thing we do not want to do is fight with our children. We want to have as much happy family time with our kids as possible. This is how the two meal thing happened.
For those of you who do not have kids, you do not have room to judge how people parent. For those of you who do have kids, you understand that parenting is not easy and everyone does things differently. As parents, we try not to judge each other. We understand how difficult times can be and everyone handles situations differently. However, it is in our nature to judge others. That’s why I am sure most of you are judging me right now.
Fighting with my children at the dinner table for an hour or two is not how I want to spend my evening. Therefore I will cook two meals almost every night. I cook something for my husband and me, then I cook another meal for my children. Many of you may think this is a lot of extra work, but in reality, it is just plain easier.
We used to try to get our kids to eat the same thing as us. This always ended up with my husband and I getting extremely frustrated. Then the kids would end up in tears, sometimes going to the extreme of forcing themselves to puke. Yes, kids are ruthless! The battle of the wills! Who will win and who will lose? Then this would result in them going to bed early.
The routine continued day in and day out. It became too exhausting for us.
In the end, this cycle could not continue. So, we gave up. Yes, I said it, we gave in to our children However, this is not a battle we wanted to fight. We could have continued down this path and forced them to eat the same food as us, but why? As long as the kids eat something, healthy, growing, strong, and get some substance, it is a win in my book! Eventually, we have required the kids to take at least one “adventure bite” during our meals. This has resulted in some wins and some loss. We will continue down this path until we decide it is time.
It seems like every day the kids are trying and liking new foods. There are so many things to worry about as a parent. Millions of things that cause us stress and sleepless nights. We decided early on that food was not something we wanted to cause stress in our lives. We determined that as long as the kids were happy, healthy and eating some sort of food, then we were winning as parents.
So here I reach out to other parents, is a meal really worth the tears, stress, and even puke messes?