Week’s-end Reflection: A Mealtime Manifesto

We have a fairly simple rule around our house: You eat what you are served.

It’s not that my kids will eat anything. Wouldn’t we all love to say that? I can anticipate their reaction when I’ve had a heavy hand with the chipotle or I try to slip goat cheese into the eggs. One will look askance at rutabagas and shrug his nose at fish. The other has developed an aversion to anything he can’t readily identify on his plate. But the reality is, I rarely make alternative meals for the boys, however loud they complain. They haven’t lost weight and they’re rarely sick. So far, so good. I like to think their palates are expanding as they make their way through our varied menus.

Laurie David, the environmentalist, has a new book  – The Family Dinner – Great Ways to Connect With Your Kids, One Meal a Time. In a recent interview with New York Times she addressed the frequent question about how to reconcile kid tastes with adult preferences:

What is the proper response when your teenagers say they dislike your lemon chicken and want beef tacos instead?
You’re not a short-order cook, number one. You should be making dinner for the family, not for the individual. They eat what you eat. My kids now are eating quinoa and kale and beans, and they drink water instead of soda.

Thanks, Laurie.


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