I won’t let my kids be picky. This is one area of parenting where I won’t back down. We’ve made it through the toddler years and had our share of chicken nuggets and french fries. But with three kids, it’s a weekly occurrence to have a meal that someone’s not very happy to eat.
I don’t offer alternatives. I sometimes have a desert for those who finish “challenging” meals.
The character and spiritual implications of this practice are significant. I want to raise children who are open to new things. Children who are thankful. Children who are gracious guests.
In life, we don’t always get to choose what’s on our “plate.” We do get to choose our response. Job responded to his unwanted difficulties by saying, “Should we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)
As a mother and a cook, I never purposely serve my family bad food. They have to trust me, trust my heart and skill before they take a bite. Challenging meals are an opportunity to build trust as well as expand palates. How much more true is this with a perfect God? How often do I look at my “plate” and say, “God, you don’t love me or you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Something as simple as helping my kids to eat their peas can prepare them for the challenges that life will inevitably dish out in the years to come.
No picky-ness allowed.