Catering to Kids Ruins Them for Life

Does catering to a child’s food issues create a finicky eater? Will cutting the crusts off sandwiches lead to weight issues and an unadventurous palate? Some think so.

A recent post titled “Kid Foods Breed Fat, Picky Children,” on the anonymous blog Violent Acres, has sparked a discussion over whether or not to cater to a finicky child’s palate.

The author falls into the tough-love camp—kids should learn to eat normal food (and by this she means brussels sprouts) or go hungry. It is how she was raised.

My mother never served me a plate of plain white rice … while the rest of the family ate meatloaf. I ate the meatloaf and I complimented the chef afterwards or I felt the pain of starvation … my parents never gave in when I cried, pursed my lips, or tasted a little only to fake gag and hysterically insist that cottage cheese would make me vomit. Instead, they would calmly inform me that I was not permitted to leave the table until my meal was finished. Period.

She rails against “kid foods,” such as sugar cereals with toys in the package and SpaghettiO’s. “There is no reason that children can’t eat the same thing as adults and feeding your child the processed garbage designed especially to appeal to him only reinforces the idea that anything not covered in sprinkles will kill him.”

And there’s no love lost on the sort of parents who run around catering to junior’s finicky palate.

Mothers that cut pancakes into hearts for their little dears and never serve them a piece of chicken that isn’t dinosaur shaped. These are the Mothers that frantically thumb through kid magazines looking for ‘fun’ ways to prepare healthy foods and desperately refer to broccoli as ‘little trees.’ When none of that crap works, these are the Mothers that insist that their child is more stubborn and intense than the average child in a sad attempt to justify letting the little bastard live on Pop-Tarts and twizzlers.

But perhaps the very best line of the entire post—the very best line I’ve read in a while—is this one:

Parents that lack the ability to convince a kid to voluntarily eat a plate of green beans aren’t cut out for parenthood. If you can’t outsmart a 3-year-old, then what the fuck are you doing raising one?

I’m not sure I agree with her completely. I was required to eat some things as a child that I then swore off for years (it’s taken me two decades to come back ‘round to chard and kale). But dang, she makes some good and entertaining points.

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