*sigh* I feel like this could become a regular blog item. Toddlers are renowned for being fussy, but Boybug really isn’t. His eating habits seem set to “random”. He is well known for his consumption of the inedible. Fox poo, stock cubes (with foil on), raw potatoes and play doh are just some of the tastes he has tried. He also loves a range of unexpected foods: mussels, sweet chilli crisps, lemons, blue cheese. Maybe he just doesn’t have any taste buds?
But all those with fussy eaters, fear not. Boybug does rejoice in refusing random foods at random times, just to keep me on my toes. This results in a strange daily diet. The day that inspired me to write about this consisted of:
Breakfast: None. Boybug asked for Cheerios. Then once served he declared he didn’t like them. It was a school day so there wasn’t time for anything else.
Snack: A biscuit literally bigger than his head. After the school run, we went for a long walk in the local National Trust park. He began to slow and it was only then I remembered he’d had no breakfast. We must have remembered at the same time, because that was when the moaning started! So we hot-footed it to the cafe. No snacks. Well. Plenty of snacks, of course. A massive slice of chocolate cake, a biscuit bigger than his head, or a big bag of salt n vinegar crisps.
Lunch: Chicken broth with cabbage. Cheerios were too adventurous in the morning, but by lunchtime he was slurping soup and demanding “is it cabbage? Is yummy!” He’s just playing with me!
Snack: Tomato ketchup. An unscheduled snack. Boybug grabbed the Tommy K from the cupboard, flipped the lid and sucked it down.
Dinner: Prawn curry. A favourite in our household. Boybug wolfed it down, so Girlbug declared she didn’t like it and tried to remove the “curry” from the curry. Then when I wasn’t looking Boybug found some of the Cheerios from this morning and gleefully declared “lovely Cheerios”.
Snack: Tangerine skin. Also unscheduled, Boybug raided the fruit bowl and ate the skin off a tangerine.
I give up. I guess I’m lucky as neither kid has any firm dislikes, but they do seem to like to create a power struggle without reason and change their tastes daily.
All this got me thinking. What is it that determines a child’s eating habits. For sure, some of it is learnt. If mum and dad have a really restricted diet,or aren’t enthusiastic about food or cooking then it’s going to be harder to engage the kids and show them a range of flavours. And some is probably personality. Some kids are more willing to try new things and take risks, be it ordering moules (they both love mussels), seeing what fox poo tastes of (mushrooms according to Boybug), or scaling the highest tree.
But is there something more. Are our likes and dislikes inherited? Are our tastebuds determined by our parents? Well, I have no idea. So, you’ll have to wait for part two of the blog post to find out!