Has college ruined the way Americans eat? I woke up this morning with one eye sealed shut and blood shot, to a rumbling tummy... and two kids on the monitor playing with each other. I thought to myself "I'm hungry. I could really go for some "bacon, eggs, hash browns... no grits, no... I don't know! Mix it all together!" That doesn't sound good at all, does it? But that's what I did in college. I'd get up, choose a bunch of random hot things, and mix it with grits. Eat, and go to class. Then for lunch, they had a pizza bar, baked potato bar, sandwich, waffle bar, salad bar, pasta bar, soup bar, hot entree bar, dessert bar, ice cream bar, cereal bar, ChickFila, Subway, Sushi place, Chinese food, Pizza Hut, Burger King, a general grocery store, gourmet coffee shop and I know there's a lot more, I just can't remember that far back (2001) when I lived on campus. I feel like having all these options for any meal, for any food at anytime has ruined the way I eat.
When I lived at home, you ate what mom made or you made yourself a sandwich and called it a day, of course there was also the option of not eating there too. Now I'm struggling, it's like I expect to be able to keep that kind of variety stocked into my small pantry, fridge and freezer. And at any moment during the day be able to change my mind as to what we're having. When I think about meal time, I think of all those varieties and struggle with the option to pick one. When I was in college, I HAD to have a meal plan, even when I left campus for a while. So, even at home, I can't have a morning coffee because I don't have 20 flavor options! Sure, we have flavored creamer (currently white chocolate raspberry, irish cream and vanilla) but that doesn't seem to be enough... it's not the coffee shop with different smells and flavors of coffee, different flavored sugar, nutmeg, cinnomon.... fresh baked goods every morning. They literally, knew me at the coffee shop on campus. I owned several store cups (because then coffee is $0.99 with your $12 store cup), I'd walk in, pour my coffee, get it ready, and by time I got to the check out they already had my chocolate criossant ready for me, I didn't have to say a word!
Ok enough story... here is my point. I'm doing it to my kids. (At least, I noticed it yesterday.) When one of them doesn't want something, I move on to give them something else until I feel they've had enough to eat. "Oh, you don't want what took mommy forever to make? Okay, Mac N Cheese... no? [it's happened] Okay let me make you a hot dog. No hot dog? Ok, let me get you a fruit cup. No fruit cup? Let me get you a pudding." Even with Littlest bug, who is almost 8 months... "hmm, won't eat peas today? Ok, lets try sweet potatos, green beans, apples, bananas...." So much food wasted. I can't decide if that's a good thing, or a bad thing. My mom didn't go to college. She married my dad in Lebanon and they came here. It's a multiple choice question...
A. Eat this or don't eat.
B. Here are your two choices, if you don't like either, don't eat.
C. Keep trying until they eat.
D. Make them sit until they eat it.
Parents have done it many ways but I can't decide which is best. When Daddy D was growing up his parents chose D. And now there are so many things he won't eat. So, as an adult, when his parents cook for everyone, they make different variations. Like, on Thanksgiving. There's always the same dish made 2 or 3 different ways, omiting the ingredients people can't or won't eat. I had B growing up and then C during college because I could just eat whatever, whenever. I just can't figure out which is really best for the kids. Do I need to suck it up and let my 2 year old get hungry enough? I feel the kid every few hours so she doesn't get too cranky. I'm at a loss. I can't afford for these kids to get overweight and end up with diabetes. Aside from dinner... my mom kept the house packed with sweets. I could grab a snicker bar at anytime and eat it. The kitchen was never closed. Little Bug has learned to open the fridge. And some doctors recommend keeping a tray of fruits and veggies in the fridge and let them eat as they would like. First off... my fridge doesn't have THAT much room. And secondly.... is that even a good idea? That's non stop foraging all day if it's up to her.
At this point, I've been up for 3.5 hours... I managed to get my eye open, contacts out (day and night lenses are all they're made out to be, and eye drops in.. and most of the reddness and soreness gone... but I still haven't managed to get myself breakfast. Little Bug is boycotting cereal, and Littlest Bug got a bottle but refused her soilds for the 2nd day. What does your family do at meal time?