The biggest issue mums say they face in feeding their kids has little to do with nutrition. Getting the right formulation of vitamins, fresh fruit, veggies and balance is one thing. More pressing at the dinner table is just getting kids to eat.
Every mum knows how demoralising it is to prepare a meal for the family only to face whinging unhappy children who refuse to eat what is put in front of them.
In the old days the complaints would go unheard and the kids would go hungry. Not so today, where mums listen and cater not only to their kids’ needs but also to their kids’ demands.
In order to avoid an argument, mums are attuned to their kids’ likes and dislikes. When shopping and planning meals they keep this in mind. They want to please their kids and encourage them to express opinions and preferences. But they also do so to avoid arguments and tantrums.
The result is that mums often cook several meals, one for kids and one for the adults (and often even separate meals for each kid as well!).
Being experimental and creating new meals filled with exotic and interesting flavours often goes unappreciated and worse.
So, it’s no surprise that mums are delighted when kids are willing to experiment and try new foods. They are even happier when the kids actually like what they are trialling and want more.
There is only so many nugget, fish fingers and bolognaise dinners parents can tolerate. When you speak to Boomers, whose kids have left home, and ask them what they love about this stage of life, one of the things they mention is being able to experiment and cook interesting meals, safe in knowing the kids aren’t there to complain about it.
[First published in The Nestle Happily Healthy Project http://www.happily-healthy.com.au/if-only-kids-would-experiment]