My husband and I have an ongoing debate about crust. It comes up almost daily since our son loves bread: toast, PB&J, bread and cheese…you name it, if it’s bread, he loves it. What he doesn’t love is crust.
When I make him toast or a sandwich, I cut off the crust. There was a time when he ate the entire piece of bread, crust included, but at some point he stopped. At least he stopped eating the crust for me. So I just started automatically cutting off the crust so he would eat everything on his plate. My husband hates this. He never cuts the crust off bread for our son and says he needs to learn to eat it. My argument is that I want him to eat, so I cut it off. We go back and forth, back and forth.
It’s not just crust, though. He won’t eat apple peels. So I cut it off. My husband doesn’t. It’s the same argument: I want him to eat the food; my husband wants him to learn to eat it, regardless of whether the apple peel is on. Of course, my son compensates for his distaste for crust and apple peels by eating everything but. Last week he literally ate an apple slice down to the peel. It was quite an amazing feat.
I recognize my husband’s point about our son learning to eat things he doesn’t prefer, including crust and apple peels. But when I feed him breakfast, I want it to be painless. I don’t want to start the morning with whining. And at night, after a long day, the last thing I want to hear is complaining about the food I’ve just made him. My husband just lets the complaints and whines roll off of him and tells our son that he needs to eat what’s in front of him. And I want him to be full so he isn’t snacking all day. Who’s right? And is there really a right answer?
I remember very vividly a food tantrum of my own. Growing up, I hated peas. My parents were ruthless. I could not leave the table until I finished my serving of peas. So I sat there. For what felt like hours. When I put some in my mouth, I really did think I would barf. Honestly, I can’t remember the outcome. Who won? I just remember sitting there at the table by myself after everyone else was done eating, staring down a bowl of peas.