There’s a time in a toddler’s life when you can give them a little pasta, a little pizza, and they are a happy camper!
But somehow – you are not!!
Oy, you think- I wish they’d eat something besides pasta and pizza. Even though you know they sell healthy, whole wheat pasta, completely protein enriched!
Then there’s that moment you regret that wish! That pivotal point where you realize all I’m ever thinking is – “What should I make for dinner?!” And you start longing for those simpler times. The ones you didn’t know to appreciate back then.
So, for all you young moms and dads, go ahead – keep enjoying the variety you’ve learned to appreciate in your own life. But for them -just keep boiling the water for the pasta and do it with a smile! Because soon enough things do change!
They discover steak, and quiche, and stews and salad. And many other things that keep you busy buying, and making, and slicing, and dicing. Things that you cannot simply toss in a Ziploc, and use on the go. Things that require menu planning and cooking time.
And you get to a point where you think there are just so many permutations of dinners that you can make.
And then added to that, they develop their own philosophies as well….
Philosophy 1. “I don’t eat left overs!”
What does that mean?!
Do they think we are some kind of savants?
Do they imagine we’ll know right to the bite just how much they will eat? And after all, if you didn’t make enough would they be happy?! These are not left overs, these are extras! What should you do with them once they’ve served their usefulness. Toss them?!
Refrigeration must be understood in a more kindly light. It allows them to eat more of what they loved last night, instead of it becoming public enemy number one!
Philosophy 2. Or how about this one. “I’m not in the mood for that tonight.” Now, trust me I get this feeling! But it’s not like it’s a flavor of yogurt! You can’t just switch it on a moment’s notice. This took time to prepare. Maybe they can work on changing their mood instead. That, after all, might be a lot simpler. They probably did that already10 times that day!
Philosophy 3. Or how about this: “I decided to be a vegan!”
Yes, ok, that’s wonderful for you, whatever! “However, couldn’t you have waited till you moved out and started to cook for yourself!” Unless they need no variety and are happy for you to pull out the little Ziploc bag you saved with the whole-wheat pasta in it alongside their memorable bronzed baby shoes.
Cooking for a family is not an easy feat.
-Not everyone likes the same foods. So, you must own a well-stocked cabinet filled with a variety of breakfast cereals for the outlier.
-Not everyone arrives home at the same time. So, if you take out what you served earlier at the meal- is that considered left overs?!
-Not every day is it easy to make things from scratch. So, is something made fresh then frozen ok with them! Do they look for proof it was made fresh that day?!
Even when you try and simplify by ordering in -Not everyone wants the same food! Will you open an account at every restaurant in the neighborhood and tolerate a traffic jam of delivery men at your front door?!
What I’m telling you is if you have a simple eater, a repeat eater, or an undemanding in terms of variety eater, in your life, just check that the dish has nutritional value and then sit back and enjoy the ease of it all! Because just like moods change, tastes change. And before you know it you’ll be plenty challenged to come up with variety, freshness, and pot and pan proof of recent production. So, while a Ziploc bag, sitting prepared on the shelf, can provide satisfying sustenance —-wish no more! Don’t feel pressured to introduce new choices, soon enough they’ll figure it all out on their own. Just grab that bag and go, especially while you still have time to go other places beside the supermarket, the kitchen, or the witness stand to take an oath you just made it all fresh that day!
Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com