M (age 4) seems to be coming out of a relatively “picky” phase that is typical of the preschool years. (It’s why it takes the patience of a saint not to pressure with foods and wait and support your child with feeding.) So, this week I decided to make a few things she had rejected the last several times I made them. I realized I had been getting into a rut of primarily serving foods she readily accepts (a good variety, but still, I was considering her tastes too much when meal-planning.)
So yesterday I made cole-slaw and a roasted chicken with squash and peas. I knew she liked squash and peas so she’d have plenty to chose from. Today barley soup (I usually do noodles) with the left-over chicken, with store-bought spanikopita.
She tried the slaw that I made and practically moaned. I think it’s hysterical when she closes her eyes and shakes her head saying, “Mmmmm!” It’s such naked pleasure. I have a feeling I do that, but never thought of it until I saw her express her love of good food with her whole body…
Anyway, I was thrilled about the slaw, and the spinach triangles (frozen from Costco are quite good and left-over from a recent get-together) as these are great winter food and last-minute pantry/freezer dishes. She also ate the barley soup, saying “It’s OK.”
I was not thrilled though when she tried my Coke. (Also left-over from the get-together 10 days ago and I am still working on the 2 liter, and I have a late client call so I enjoyed the pick-me-up with dinner. ) Alas, she loved that too… Until now she declared all things “soda” as “too spicy.” She had a few sips, declared her love, had a few more before I casually mentioned that she could have more water if she was thirsty, which she did with no fuss.
I haven’t had to deal with soda before now, but I hear that it’s a big deal from a lot of parents. I’ll keep you all up with how it goes. For now, I won’t be drinking it at meals with her anymore. I do enjoy a half a can with lunch a few times a week. (I really enjoy the half can, but then I don’t want the rest. It’s just too sweet.) Since we rarely eat out these days, it shouldn’t be too much of a big deal. I’m hoping it’ll be like other sweets and “forbidden foods” which are going pretty well right now. If it becomes an issue, I will find a way to incorporate it in a balanced way so that she learns to manage it, but isn’t obsessed or drawn to it.
In general with soda, I don’t think it’s a great choice for kids as it replaces other drinks like milk and water, and it’s got a lot of sugar. Interestingly, in a study in the ADA in 2009 on removing soda from the schools, an incidental finding was that the fat and lean kids drank the same amount of soda…
How are you handling soda?
Update age 5 and 6: When we eat out she can chose between lemonade and soda or desert. Most times she chooses desert.
Age 7: Most often chooses water over soda even if it is an option. Sometimes adds water to soda. Have never called it “junk” or “bad for you.” Generally it’s not something we drink at home and she prefers water, but when we do eat out, it is an option. Enjoys slurping the bubbles from my soda when I drink one, then enjoys water.
For many children, as with “forbidden” foods, the forbidding fuels the craving. If your child loves the bubbles, consider fizzy flavored waters, or fizzy juices.