The Daughter hates mushrooms. She hates a lot of things, food-wise, but she really hates mushrooms. So imagine my confusion when, as we were in Asda shopping this morning, I asked her what she wanted for lunch and she said "mushroom soup". I didn't question her choice until after she'd finished eating. "Why is it you turn your nose up at anything I cook that has mushrooms in it, but you've just eaten a bowl of mushroom soup?" I asked. She gave me that withering 'Crikey, you're a moron mother' look and said "Well, it's not like it's a bowl of mushrooms is it?!". Hiding my smirk behind my hand so as not to provoke her rage further I steeled myself and said "Yes, that's exactly what it is sweetheart; mushrooms, vegetable stock and a bit of cream". She was visibly torn. Should she flounce off upstairs, having been proved wrong? Or should she man up - stay and grudgingly accept that, yes, she did indeed like something she's been painstakingly picking out of meals for the past two years? She chose the middle ground and simply said "Humph. S'pose they're ok in tiny pieces". I went solemnly into the kitchen and did a small celebration dance of smugness.
The Husband was vegetable-repellant until he moved in with me, it's a wonder he didn't hit adulthood with scurvy, rickets and severe anaemia. And I'm determined the kids aren't going to grow up eating nothing but supernoodles and chicken nuggets. I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with food, these days mainly it's the 'love' side. I think back to what I was allowed to get away with eating (or not eating, as was fairly often the case) as a child and it's nothing short of horrific. I never used to have breakfast; occasionally choosing a bag of beef Monster Munch to eat on the way to school. Lunch would be a sausage roll and chips and a cream doughnut - every day!, or tomato ketchup sandwiches if I took pack up. I was never made to eat any fruit or veg, and my 'passing fancies' were ignored. Fancies like eating nothing but banana flavoured toffees for a week. Or the one where I ate nothing but boiled white cabbage with salt and pepper. This was actually quite nice...for a day or two. It wasn't until I got to University, and lost a ridiculous amount of weight by eating nothing but the odd cheese toastie, that I realised my eating habits were abysmal and actually began to crave fruit and veg.
Of course, the majority of kids go through fussy stages, and it's during these times that I believe you should never give in to their whims just to get them eating something. I would rather my two ate a few bites of something healthy than a plateful of something with the nutritional value of Lego. It's even more important when you have kids, that you encourage them to eat well. And the best way to do that is to lead by example. How can you expect your kids to tuck in to boring veg (and let's face it, most people throw their veg down while it's piping hot because as soon as it gets cold it's total ming) when you're sitting there eating cheap hotdogs made of pigs bumholes, and 'potato' in the shape of numbers and letters? Girls have it hard enough these days, without the issues of diet and appearance following them round. I wish someone had told me as a teenager that it's better to eat well and have a strong, healthy body, than it is to survive on diet Coke, ciggies and Haribo because you don't want a fat bum.
Those who know me know that I can put a serious amount of food away, and a fair bit of it is crap I admit. It's just that I save the crap for after the kids have gone to bed. Partly for their own health benefits, but mainly because I'm a greedy cow and I don't want to share! But I'm healthy, and fit, and a better role model now than I ever would have been years ago. So tomorrow I shall continue with my small but significant victory, and serve up something with mushroom...in tiny pieces of course!