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croissants vs snails, a reminder that feeding kids isn’t just about the food

Posted by on Aug 10, 2010 in Blog Posts |

Well, I’m back from France with M, digging out from hundreds of emails. Thanks for your comments while I was gone. I will get to them and give them the proper attention soon (probably next week as I leave soon for an exciting workshop in Iowa on Thursday!)

I was reminded that there is so much more at play with food than the actual food. I think I’ve said before that it’s 90% psychology. Here is a perfect example…
For weeks before the trip I was mentioning how much I was looking forward to croissants. Really, I love them, and when in France I eat a lot of them. I never said, “M, you’ll love them, you have to try them!” More of just, “Wow, I’m excited to have some croissants next week!”
So, I rode the rickety old bike to the bakery and brought back bread, croissants, pain-au-chocolat (croissants with chocolate baked into them) and M wouldn’t try it. She refused for almost 2 weeks. The one time she tried it was on the day when there was only one left from the day before and her cousins wanted it. (Scarcity is a great motivator…) Then she tried it and liked it. I am convinced that had I not talked about it before the trip, she would have tried it without a fuss, as she did with almost everything else on the trip, including the snails above (bigorneau) which I refuse to eat (I tried them years ago and I am not a fan…) It creeps me out when you pull them out of the shell with a little pin and they uncurl and then curl up again. (I think you can zoom in on the photo if you’re interested and see the pile of meat on the bottom right…) Ew. (I of course did not share this with M.)
On another note, I enjoyed sometimes two croissants for breakfast that are loaded with butter and flaky and delicious. I felt no guilt or shame, and by the last few days, I had kind of had enough. I didn’t want them anymore. I will look forward to them again in two years! In the past, before really accepting eating all foods and trusting my body, I had often felt some of the usual, “I shouldn’t really eat this…” and had more conflicted feelings and never really felt I had had “enough.”
I have also been up since 3:30, so this is a little rambly.
Have you had experiences where you felt that the psychology of the situation and not the food, the flavor or texture was what influenced whether your child (or you) tried or ate something or not?
(I have never tried my Dad’s home-made chutney which I think is because I was pressured so much to do so over the years…)
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