Crust or No Crust? The Parenting Dilemma

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. 

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4 thoughts on “Crust or No Crust? The Parenting Dilemma

  1. This sounds like our house, it’s amazing how their tastes change; for the past six weeks my son has refused to eat anything hot and waited until his tea is stone cold before he’ll touch it and I could forget about any vegetables being eaten. Tonight he ate his tea as soon as it was put in front of him and he ate hundreds of peas from his plate before he started on mine!

  2. Our toddler feels the same about crusts. We don’t cut them off for him, but we tell him he only has to eat what he wants, so if he leaves the crusts (or anything else) on the plate when he’s done, eh. NBD. Makes meals pleasant and frankly, what’s the point of making a kid eat crusts or peels? He’ll get there eventually. Unless he’s Walter White.

  3. Do you as a parent set a good example by eating everything on your plate? Even onions and tomatoes? The trauma caused will be remembered forever, like being left at the table eating peas! Please, please, no Lima beans!

  4. I remember making a lot of bread pudding with unwanted crusts, but they do eventually grow out of it, so I see no harm in removing them for now.

    Funny when we make food look nice for adults it is called fine dining!

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