April 19, 2010

Eat Your Peas

This is really a mystery to me and I need some input. I am not sure the right course of action here at all and it's sparked some heated debate at my house. Here's the situation: My big kid hates peas. Hates them. Won't touch them on a bet. Sunday dinner is Dad's night to cook and he came up with something yummy, but different than our normal fare, and it included peas. There we sat, long after Megan was done eating with the big kid almost in tears staring at a tablespoon full of cold peas. (Even grosser than warm canned peas!) The battle went on and on and when it was done, I couldn't help but wonder what that was really all about.
The small amount of peas he did eat aren't going to have a marked affect on his health. We made him pleanty mad and he was unpleasent the rest of the night. We were frustrated too.

So what's the compulsion of parents to make their kids eat nasty things they know the kids won't like? Brussle sprouts, cooked to death broccoli (my kids like broccoli, when it's just barely steamed or raw), lima beans ect. Is it really about a power struggle? About the vegetables or food item itself? Or about teaching your kid that not everything is pleasent, and we must endure? They will need coping skills in the future and if you can't make your way through a small amount of pease, you are going to be in big trouble later on? Is it about parents thinking themselves successful when they see a child's cleaned plate? Does feeling good about yourself as a parent take precedent over your child's state of mind? Is it about trying new things or as even Meg tells us now "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit"? I am not sure what it's really about, all of those things and more I guess. The question is, if you don't eat your peas because you really don't like them, do you still get ice cream at the end of night?

Any ideas?


Becky said...

I hate canned green peas but love frozen peas and fresh peas. I am a stickler with my kids to eat what is made for dinner as long as it is not something questionable. Usually when I know dinner might be hard for one of my kiddos, I try to offer dessert contingent on them eating their dinner. Madelynn is my gold star eater but it works really well with Abby and even Natalie.

Annalia Romero said...

Canned peas are disgusting. Sorry. It's just true.

My kids have to eat their vegis, but I try not to set them up for failure by serving ones they gag on. I have very vivid childhood memories that involve gagging on squash. ...that said, no dessert is reasonable. I would have traded no desert to not have to eat squash.

Sarah said...

We are pretty strict with our kids when eating different foods, but I do allow each child one or two things they just hate. (I love peas, but I don't touch their beloved seaweed with a 10 ft pole!) This isn't a verbal agreement, but just this unsaid understanding that as long as they haven't ruled out every food that I put in front of them, I can understand one kid not liking tomatoes or mushrooms. I do waht Becky does, also. If dinner didn't turn out quite as appealing as I would like, I pull the dessert card and it normally gets everyone through one serving. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Peas. Yuk. As long as he isn't a real picky eater, give the kid a pass on the peas. I pick cucumbers out of salad-won't eat them at all and can't imagine anyone trying to make me eat them. You fix food you like to eat so generally, you don't have to skip dessert, right? Peas aren't going to make a difference in his eternal salvation. Love him, pray with him, play with him, teach him to respect others and respect that he doesn't like peas. Nuf said. Love you all and miss you. Mom