For some time now, two of my four children have been pleading with me to stop making them eat red meat. There are several reasons why these pleads have always been ignored.
First, I've always believed that they were too young to make this decision themselves. If I listened to their wants and needs, while they were growing up, I would be serving chicken nuggets and French fries on a daily basis! That's not happening!
Secondly, I think they need some red meat in their diet.
Thirdly, I do NOT believe in preparing two separate meals for any reason in my household! I was always raised to be grateful for what was on my plate….and even if I was gagging and dry heaving, I was made to clear my plate!
I however, do not ENTIRELY follow this rule. I do make my children clear their plates, but I allow them to put the portions on their plate, with the understanding that they will try at least some of everything. If they complain about the small portion of something, I threaten to place a larger scoop. So generally speaking, nobody really says anything anymore, they just gag it down in silence 🙂
Lately though, these two children have been fighting me hard about the meat issue! They save it for last, for reasons I won't ever understand, and then they chew and chew and chew it, claiming they're full and that they hate meat! I never put much of it on their plates, so I always make them finish it! (Just a side note: Hamburgers and hotdogs are not included on their dislike of meat list!!)
This week we all talked about it in more detail. I asked why they save it for last, why they don't want to eat it, and why they make this production every day. I then asked what their ideas for alternatives would be…they needed some sort of protein!! They both were working together suggesting that they would eat fish. They assured me that if I made them fish EVERY TIME I made red meat, then they would eat it!
Anyone that knows me, knows I can be very stubborn when it comes to changing my thought process. This time though, they had perked my interest, and I gave it some thought. I do believe they need a little red meat in their diet, but maybe they were onto something. As a family, we eat more red meat than necessary really! I try to incorporate different things like beans and fish in, but I don't do it often enough. Plus, my mom/chuck have a cow butchered every so often to fill all of our deep freezers with beef! It's just easy to get it out of the freezer, when preparing meals!
So, going against all I've stood for thus far, I made them the deal! Renee thought I'd lost my mind and said “So you're going to make two different meals”?! Yes and no is my answer. First of all, I'm not going to change the rest of the meal. We will all carry on with our veggie routine. But if I'm going to throw meat on the grill, and they would rather eat fish, and I have the fish, then I'm going to do it! I'm gasping at my own self!!
So this week, we tried it out for the first time! We threw two pieces of tilapia on the grill for them, and the other 4 of us had ribeye steaks! They seemed content…and good for them! After all, its not often that I give in, and they were proud that they had won something!!
They started off by taking the smallest amount of fish possible…about a forkful! I laughed as I said “Thats not going to work out! Those two pieces are for you two…divide it up”! Reluctantly, they did as they were asked. We all sat down to eat, and I watched the two of them pick at that fish, the same way they did the meat!! Again, they saved it for last. They were the last ones done eating as usual….and I was encouraging them to finish their fish…..
My son said “I've made a decision. I think I'd rather eat meat”!
My daughter said “I don't like this fish mama! Do I have to eat it”? To which I responded…. “Absolutely”!
I reminded her that she's the one who wanted fish instead of meat. I told her that I had bought her a variety of fish, to make her happy!
She looked at me for awhile, still pushing that fish around her plate, and finally found her voice again. “Mama, when I said that, I only wanted you to buy salmon! That's the only fish I like. I don't like the variety fish kind”!
Needless to say, I'm back to square one……or I'm going to be in the poor house with her salmon dinners every night!! I don't think I'll even let her try lobster!!
Hmmmmmm? Where to go from here?!