My children were raised vegetarian because their mother and I did not eat meat and we were not going to prepare two meals. After we had separated my ex wife and I both stopped being vegetarian around the same time and the children started eating meat too, although this time they were given the choice.
When they were little there was very little room for fussy eating; without wanting to come over all At Last The 1948 Show we never told our kids that refusing to eat something was an option because we couldn’t afford to throw away food. The only time I can remember them not eating something (apart from chocolate spaghetti) was when a neighbour’s children happened to be in the house when my children had just been given mushroom stroganoff for dinner. The neighbour’s kids all said that mushrooms were slimy and disgusting so, as a unit, my three children pushed their plates away and refused to eat.
As they started to eat meat they became fussier. My son, the youngest, is probably still the most adventurous (although he did refuse to eat fish for a long while as he had it in his head that it would come from the Bridgewater Canal in Worsley which was orange in those days). My youngest daughter will try most things but she has a minimal tolerance for hot spices. My eldest daughter doesn’t really like meat.
This last fact is something I always forget. When she visits I will plan a nice meal with a lovely cut of meat from The Ginger Pig only to be reminded that she doesn’t like whatever it is I have chosen. This weekend my eldest and her partner came down and I discovered that she likes duck so I made a lazy cassoulet using tinned haricot beans and confit duck. It was lovely and perfect for a Wintry Sunday but it wasn’t really very diet friendly.
Still, I have been very lucky with my children compared to other people. My mother-in-law’s daughter, for instance, was terrible. She was once tricked into eating mashed swede (which she professed to hate) by being told it was very buttery potato. When she was told the truth she threw it up. When I married her the list of things she wouldn’t eat was probably longer than the list of things she would. She claimed to dislike chickpeas until she ate some hummus out of politeness when visiting friends and discovered she actually loved them. I came to realise that Debbie disliked a lot of foods because she had tried them as a child and had never tried it with an adult palate. I have slowly been persuading her to give things another go. A few Christmases ago we had both mashed carrot and swede and brussel sprouts and nobody was sick. Well, maybe they were the next morning but that was down to the booze and not the food.
This past week has been quite hectic. We have been late home several nights which has meant take-aways and we have eaten out several nights. I was astounded to have only put on two pounds at tonight’s weigh in. I am hoping that I can lose five over the next week so I can finally break the four stone barrier.