I didn’t have a chance to blog yesterday, but my column this week is about guiding kids through changes. We just moved our two-year-old out of a crib and into a bed. It went better than I expected, considering how much he lives by a strict routine. We have to do a checklist every morning:

“Daddy go work today?”

“Yes, Daddy’s going to work today.”

“Daddy come home at dinner time?”

“Yes, I’ll be back at dinner time.”

“Daddy take an ona bar to work?”

“OK, I’ll take a granola bar.”

One area where we still struggle with change is trying to get our kids to eat new things. Every now and then I insist on introducing a new food, but it usually ends in a massive freakout–especially by the oldest. He has the blandest diet of anyone I know.

We had a crisis on Monday: we were out of Cheerios. They’re the only thing he eats for breakfast. Ever. And he eats them dry. Milk would make them soggy, and that would be a disaster.

After much moping about and insisting we should go to the grocery store before 7 a.m., he finally agreed to switch it up.

“Fine. I’ll have a piece of bread. Not toasted, no butter, just bread.”

“Do you want a cup of lukewarm water with that?” I asked. “Maybe some nice gruel?” He didn’t get the joke.

He eats enough healthy things that I’m not worried about the content of his diet (in fact, last night he turned down a hot dog and asked for a banana instead), but it’s just so… boring.  And the other three aren’t a whole lot better. The middle two are a bit more adventurous, but the youngest eats almost nothing but peanut butter toast, yogurt, and avocados.

So if anyone has any handy tips on teaching kids to like Pad Thai, I’m all ears.



One response to “Changes

  1. We had/have a bland dieter. He was born when his older sister was 14 months and by the time he was 6 months and starting solids, I was swamped and relying heavily on prepared baby jars. I think that this is why he had such a hard time with unusual tastes and textures.

    I was never the kind to force-feed my children food they didn’t like although I never indulged their fussiness with special meals: food is on the table and you are free to eat or go hungry. In hindsight — and this is when having a large family is awesome: you get to apply hindsight to your younger children — I would have made them to try a bite. I realized to late that being able to stomach unpalatable food without gasping is an important life skill.

    All this to say… Different foods and so-called ethnic foods were served regularly, children were always free to eat it or not but had no other option. As they grew and saw us enjoy food, they became more adventurous and as teenagers have wide-ranging tastes.

    We also avoid fast-food and chain restaurants: our favorite places to eat are a Malaysian restaurant and a Vietnamese restaurant. The younger children often have nothing but white rice and eventually start eying our pho and try it out. Tastes evolve with age, don’t despair !

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