I think my girls are pretty good eaters. They will try most foods, however, just when I think I've cracked it, we circle back to the beginning. A prime example is pesto. I think many parents would agree, pesto can be a life saver, especially when you're in a rush. Well, although the first time she tried it, she liked it, since then Florence has declared on numerous occasions that she definitely does not like pesto. Her usual cry is "Mummy, that is disdustin" as she watches Tilly wolf it down. I've tried numerous times to give it to her, only for her to spit it out at me, looking like I've just made her eat a lemon. That was until last weekend.
I had just served bowls of pasta for a quick lunch last Saturday. We had all sat down and were tucking in. Everyone had vegetable and pesto pasta, except for Florence who just had tomato sauce and vegetables. This was how the conversation went:
Florence: "Why are you all eating somefin else?".
Me: "Darling, you usually don't like Pesto so I gave you tomato sauce".
Florence (in an ever increasingly louder squeal): "But I do like pesto Mummy you just forgotted to give me some".
Me: "No darling I didn't, would you like some?".
Florence: "I want to try Tilly's not yours Mummy because you forgotted me".
Florence (having tried Tilly's): "Mmm Mummy I love it, why can't I have some...?".
Firstly I was amazed that she'd even noticed and secondly the injustice in her voice was laughable. The fact that I've tried in excess of a gazillion times to get her to eat it had obviously gone unnoticed. Then of course came the parent guilt that I hadn't tried her with it again. This guilt lasted for all of 5 seconds when I realised that if I'd have given her a bowl of her own she'd have spat it out and we would have started negotiating an 'eat it, leave it' pile!
I find this with lots of different foods. I occasionally catch myself not offering the girls a food because they don't like it but I'm learning that their taste buds change all the time. I now regularly 'negotiate'. In my view gone are the days where 'you must eat everything on your plate', I for one, do not believe this is healthy if they are full. Instead I will split the food on their plate into sections, one they have to eat and one they can leave, otherwise known as the 'eat it, leave it pile'. Fortunately this happens very rarely as I try not to overface them in the first place. One thing is for sure though, being a parent really improves your negotiation skills!