Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You Are How You Eat

We've had some issues here recently with politeness about food - particularly politeness about food when visiting other people's houses. Now those of you who read here regularly know we have firm rules about not ever complaining about food. So when I heard that while visiting a neighbor, my three year old said that the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was "yucky," Mommy sat down to have a little talk with Isaiah.

I reminded him that we don't ever complain about food, that you can always say "no thank you." And then I asked why he objected to peanut butter and jelly, which we eat at home. He said the bread wasn't Daddy's bread, and the Jam wasn't Mommy's jam and they didn't taste good.

So I explained that I'm glad he likes Daddy's homemade bread, and I'm glad he likes Mommy's homemade jam, but that some people don't make bread or jam, and that we have to be polite about it. Why don't they make it, he wanted to know? Well, some people don't have gardens and the don't want to or know how to make food. So they get their food from the supermarket.

Isaiah was shocked by this. "Really?!? You mean they get all their food from the supermarket?" He thought for a minute. "That's really sad," was his final response. And he really felt bad about it - we revisited the discussion several times, and he kept asking me if they *had* to go to the supermarket, and whether they ever had good bread or jam.

Now I try hard not to diss other people's food ever, so I don't think he got this from me or his Dad. And I'm kind of pleased to see that my son has somehow absorbed the real truth - that the best food out there is not available at even the most upscale supermarket. The best food out there is the stuff that you make and grow yourself.

Sharon

33 comments:

Tracy Glomski said...

Out of the mouths of babes…

I wish I’d been half as smart at that age.

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Woody, Tokin Lib'rul/Rogue Scholar & O'erall Helluvafella said...

You're not "what you eat."
You're what you don't excrete.
just sazin

Ailsa said...

Awww! That is so cute.

Robyn M. said...

Wow, what can I say? That's simply awesome.

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cath said...

What fabulous reinforcement of your choices!

Amelia said...

I wish I could show this and your post about picky eaters to an Internet acquaintance: lists yards long of things the spouse and children won't eat, and the spouse has been unemployed for a bit now.

Food preferences are understandable, and a willingness to make room for them is commendable in a parent: boiled spinach makes me nauseous to this day, but I found I was perfectly happy to eat it steamed or raw.

In the absence of diagnosed food allergies and one-half of the regular monthly income? Pick five things that make you gag, and beyond that you eat what you're offered, make a PB & J sandwich or go without. I don't really know this person, but I'm furious on their behalf that the family is putting so much more stress on someone who's already carrying quite enough.

Heather said...

Hi Sharon
I enjoy reading your blog whenever I have a chance. Your son's comment made me think of my own boys. They will politely eat what they are offered at other people's homes but they always notice (and say afterwards to me) that there is nothing like homemade. I am very pleased about that. I have found it is very important to me as well, that my boys not only know how to appreciate home-made food but also how to prepare it themselves. :-)

Shane in Australia said...

The other important side of this awareness and capacity for manners is that hosts shouldnt be insistant or offended if their guests say "no thankyou" to food that is offered. Apart from all the other possible reasons for turning it down people could just be plain not hungry.

jewishfarmer said...

Of course my son doesn't have to eat anything. But he does have to be polite about it, and he cannot ask for anything else.

Generally speaking, my kids are quite good about eating politely at other people's houses.

Sharon

Michelle said...

I'd like to make jam, but my sheep
broke into my strawberry patch
and ate all the plants. Sigh.
Baaaaaaad sheep.

Christina said...

When we and a couple of friends were having dinner a few weeks ago (with smoked mackerel and lots of veggies) my 9yo son said:
"I wonder why people say that it is hard to make kids eat veggies".
Me: "Hmmm, so do I - what do you think".
Son: "Well, I guess they don't get homegrown veggies like we do".

A proud gardening mother could just agree :))

Christina in Sweden

Amelia said...

The Internet acquaintance I mentioned in a previous comment has gone on strike! After her family turned up their noses at soup -- and bitched about it -- she calmly took it away, cleaned up the kitchen, and announced that for the next week they could by heaven feed themselves: she was dealing with quite enough trying to keep them all off the streets to put up with that level of ingratitude.

This morning there was grumbling over cereal; she looked at them serenely and said "Not my problem, and? If you don't clean up after yourselves you're forfeiting a privilege. Have a good day at school; good luck with the job search, honey." And off she went.

I hope it works.

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