I have a confession. I have a picky eater. Make that two. They are mostly picky about fruit. They detest fruit and gag when I strongly encourage (read: force) them to eat fruit. But here's the kicker—these children aren't toddlers. They are now 12 and 15, close to full-grown dudes.
The only fruit my 15-year-old will eat are frozen raspberries. And if the berries defrost for a milisecond too long, he makes a stink and pushes them away. The 12-year-old eats strawberries and Granny Smith green apples cut into thin slices but that's it.
From the get go, I have tried not to pander to this fussiness. I've also tested all the tips from parenting mags. Let them choose, take them shopping, get them involved squeezing fresh O.J., etc. I have offered everything from kiwi to grapes to watermelon to mango (and yes, in shake form.) I have asked my kids' friends to tell them how much they like fruit. I have told my boys that fruit is sour and delicious just like their favorite sour candy. Both my husband and I are health-conscious and eat tons of fruit. It's almost like my boys have a fruit aversion and it makes them physically ill. Seriously. Watching your kid choke down a piece of kiwi and barf up green goo is not pleasant. Nothing has worked. I'm at my wit's end.
So my question is … how do you deal with fussy eaters? How do I get my teenagers to enjoy fruit without fussing and gagging and tossing their kiwis?
Thanks to Maaliea Wilbur for sharing her very personal story last week and asking How Do You Find Special Moments to Share With Your Child?
Here's what our Moms Talk council members had to say:
My husband and I divide and conquer ... he takes one kid and I take the other for some one-on-one time. We don't do that often enough, but I do think it's important. This weekend I'm taking my older daughter on a mother-daughter weekend at Camp Campbell! This is the first time we've done this ... and I'm excited to try it. Sometimes the planned one-on-one time is hard--my daughter wants to bring a friend and then I feel hurt because it's encroaching on "our" time--but I'm going to keep on trying.
Let's see, I have teenagers so those moments are fewer and father between. Ummm my special moments usually involve food, cars and movies. Sometimes they will actually sit down with me and talk about what's going on at school in between large bites of their favorite food. Or sometimes I trap them in the car with me while I chauffeur them around to their various events and give them the third degree. Or I'll let them watch something that their not supposed to, keeping my finger on the remote, and we dish and laugh and if something bad happens i change the channel and we laugh some more. I'm actually lucky, they both still don't mind being seen in public with me.