I have no favorites. Color, flavor, or patterns, doesn’t matter. I have preferences. I like coffee, but not mocha. I like chocolate candy but not chocolate in my coffee or coffee in my candy, cakes or in anything other than my coffee mug. I like vanilla…sometimes. I do not like orange favored candies that reminds me of the children aspirin when I was a child. Mostly, I like food that is well prepared and balanced in flavors.
I have a lot of grandchildren. Some are picky eaters, some flavor adventurers, two are so stiff in their preferences that they don’t eat when at my home. We make balanced, home cooked meals with a variety of flavors, colors, and textures. The two children come to the table speaking the words: “I don’t like that.” They don’t know what it is, but they’ve already decided that they do not like it. One of the two will eat fish sticks and chicken nuggets; the other wants fast food or sweets. If they had grown up in my parent’s home, they would have starved for certain. My mother made one meal for all and if someone didn’t like it, they went without. I was the same way with my children when they were growing up. Evidently, my children were/are not the same way with their own. If the child does not like what is being offered, the mommy provides a peanut butter sandwich or runs out for fast food.
Normally, if a child resists something new and are encouraged to try just a bite or two, they will come to eat it. They may never love it or even like it, but they will learn that eating something that isn’t their favorite is necessary to keep the nutrients balanced. We never force a child to eat they are not hungry as that creates a bad habit. We do, however, insist that they try a food before they announce that they do not like it. We do not have dessert with meals as a rule, but we do serve a fruit with breakfast and the last meal. The child who likes on pre-packaged foods or sweets will often eat the fruit and nothing more.
I worry about the poor eating habits of these children. Wonder how that is going to work for them in the future when they are making the food choices. I have never blamed the fast food restaurants or the snack manufacturers for their bad habits in food choices. I blame the parents who seem to me more concerned with getting ‘something’ into the child’s mouth than they are about nutrition. They are not realizing the alternatives are likely to cause health issues for the child later in life. Having a favorite flavor may be normal; however, I believe it should not be the only thing a child eats.