In my family, the only person who could express any food dislikes was my Father. And he had a couple of them. Chicken, for instance. But as children, any misgivings we had about food were not paid any attention to. You ate what was put in front of you. That was particularly true if you chose something from a menu and then claimed not to have understood what you were ordering. You ate it or you went hungry. Now, when I see a fussy eater or a child whose diet is seemingly limited to a single item, repeated night after night, plate after plate, I really feel sorry for the kid. I don’t know what makes a picky eater but I think a lot of parents are enablers. They’ll do anything to avoid mealtime meltdowns even if it means some very questionable eating habits and the poor nutrition that results from them. But of all the questionable kid’s meals that I’ve seen, aside from those really terrible ‘Lunchables’, the chicken nugget frightens me the most. Is it really chicken? Where does it come from? Breaded and fried, dipped into sugar-y sauces of one flavor or another, how good can it be to eat these things on a regular--let alone daily--basis? But there ways of weaning children off the nuggets and onto something that will open their budding palates to flavors they might actually enjoy. And since you control what goes into these fantastically tasty morsels, you can then control what’s goes into your child. Introducing…Vietnamese Meat Balls!
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