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Monday, November 28, 2005


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As a dad whose kids run the whole gamut from gourmet to hating just about everything, full praise to Olle for liking a pickled herring. That is the most important thing. I can never think of the appropriate response is such situations either but I guess Olle's eating habits outshine the frustration you might be feeling.

I suspect that the key issue wasn't the food's cost but its taste. Kids are supposed to be into sugary, processed foods, not things like pickled herring, curries or anything else with a strong flavour.

I've one niece who will try anything - she loves Japanese food - but the other only seems to like pizza. Margherita pizzas...

For whatever it's worth... My reading on the mother's comment was that she'd never seen a kid eat pickled herring, and perhaps the mom didn't like it herself, so she wanted to let Olle know that he didn't have to eat the "yucky" stuff, since food that she thought he would like much better was coming soon. My sense (without having been there) was that she meant to let him know that the stuff that he would like was yet to come.

I think Olle's appreciation of good food is wonderful and something to be encouraged.

Valerie, that's a kind interpretation! And I can see from the words on the screen that it could be interpreted like that - but from actually being there, there was no doubt that she was telling him not to eat the 'adult food' - not to disturb the fancy table (full of things like sun dried tomatoes, artichokes etc). She was probably worried that O's example would cause her own kids to come running and swarm all over it ... so I shouldn't be too hard on her, but it was irritating that she virtually countermanded what I'd said to him.

Yes, full praise to Olle. Is he at school yet (sorry, I'm not sure) - My kids were fabulous eaters until they hit school and then the other kids taught them they weren't "supposed" to like those kind of things.

I have a similar-but-different kinda story. My son's addiction, from the time he was first on solid food, was olives - the black, salty kind, not the milder Spanish kind. (And yes, I was very vigilant about him inhaling anything!) We were at a party with hors d'oeuvres, just like you were, and Tas started hoovering up a bowl of Kalamata olives. It was me trying to get him to stop- he'd really had enough from the point of view of salt intake! - when some young bloke noticed and started egging him on, as in-- "Hey come over here! this little kid eats olives... Here littleun, have another one..."
He's still an olive fiend despite becoming much more conservative since starting school. He thinks eggplant is the yuckiest thing ever.

Indeed, good on Olle and good on you--children should be encouraged to eat, period, and the more togetherness there is about food for the family the more everyone can be encouraged to try new foods and whatnot. Some meals are fun to have all hodgepodge but most adults sharing a meal expect to be sharing dishes, too. I don't see the point in training children to think they can't like certain foods.

My daughter had all kinds of feeding issues related to some medical problems, so we had to work hard to get her to eat in quantity. But we always served her (as soon as she could chew it) whatever we were eating, with minor modifications if needed. Ellyn Satter's books on kids and food are a good resource for sensible kid feeding habits (similar, I think, to what you're describing inLawson's writing).

I'd have been sputtering, too.

I'm glad your son is well-raised enough to be able to eat the adult food without making a gannet of himself, tipping all the bowls, or getting his hands in amongst food that others want to eat.

He'd be the exception to the rule.

I used to have the opposite problem. I would serve adult food at the kid's party and have every adult stay and eat it.

I agree with all the comments about Olle and the food. I am just surprised that he ate pickled herring! I often try to get Zac to eat adult food with little success, except for beautiful cheese. We actually had the opposite problem at Zac's recent birthday party - the adults getting stuck into the footy franks and the kids hoovering up the gourmet cheese plate!

From the pov of a mother of a fussy eater, any 'proper' food that passes his lips should be encouraged. Boo hiss to the mother of three whose children probably live on Cheezels. It's that attitude that left us with a problem with childhood obesity.

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