On the Fly: Food & Love (Part I) | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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On the Fly: Food & Love (Part I) 

click to enlarge Candied crab apples in China.
  • Candied crab apples in China.

At the heart of every family are twin pillars of food and love. In my opinion, these are two of the most important parts of a parent's job: making sure you're eating good food together and loving each other.

When it comes to food, you need to figure out three meals a day and think about how you are going to give everyone the nutrition they need, ensuring they like it, without boring them (or yourself). Likewise, you have to think about love everyday  — how to express it, cultivate it and serve it up in interesting ways.

This trip has us focusing on these pillars in new and deeper ways.

Some families, like ours, have one picky eater, who can wreak havoc at family meals. Ours is 8-year old Lola. She loves all kinds of white foods — bagels and cream cheese, macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, plain pasta, white rice, etc. At home, meal times are tough because I either end up catering to her with something different than what I made for the rest of the family, or I refuse and she ends up in tears and goes to bed hungry. 

Before we left on this trip, my sister (who was also a picky eater as a child) expressed concern about Lola. She told me to pack special food, like granola bars, for her so she wouldn’t starve.

I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It felt like the antithesis of what we set out to do with this adventure — let the children explore new worlds without coddling them. Lola is naturally thin, and though I had visions of her becoming frail and weak from lack of nutrition, I put this out of my mind. I had faith that she would open her mind (and mouth) and just eat.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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