Some days I feel like I run a diner.  Its my own fault really.  When the girls were small I never made them eat “grown up food” like (hot) sausage and peppers but made them chicken instead. I really did not mind making them food I knew they would eat, it was just important that they ate since they were both so active. Yes, it was more work but day to day it was easier than trying to find food that all 4 of us would eat (hubby is a bit picky as well).

Growing up, my Mom never made a big deal of food. We ate fairly simply and always had enough. There were never any foods that were off limits (candy/snacks) so it wasn’t something you felt you had to have–if you wanted a cookie,you  had one or two and you put it away. We never ate out of boxes or bags so portion control was easy. I really think because nothing was off  limits that it (junk food) holds very little power for me.

We had a HUGE garden when I was growing up–and we used all of it.  My parents liked to try out new recipes and sometimes they just were not appealing! Yet, despite not liking what they made we either ate it or went hungry. Its just how it was; there were no substitutions. I’m not sure my parents understood why I would make dual meals and I know my Dad did not approve.  I think he felt I was spoiling my kids by not forcing them to eat things they did not like. Part of why I did substitute food is because I don’t feel that food and eating should be an issue; if you don’t like something why should you be forced to eat it? It just causes stress and gives food more power over our feelings about it.

I don’t want to do this with my kids–food should not be an issue of power. Its a little different now since they are 16 and 18 and often will make something on their own if they don’t care for what I am making. My oldest is a vegetarian as well as being very health conscious. My younger daughter will not eat beef, pork or fish.  She is becoming a healthier eater and will try some new things but not always. My hubby is a true “meat and potato” kind of guy although he will eat some seafood. He very rarely will try new things. Me, I really love to cook  and am trying so many new things these days that I have a pile of recipes to try, almost all focusing on “clean eating”.

We frequently talk about food and nutrition but I do not force the issue. I do not want food to be something we fight over. If anything, my older daughter will say something to the younger one about poor choices (like when she has soda) but I try the softer approach by providing better choices for her to have. I figure positive reinforcement works better than negative with teenagers.  They see me eating healthier and trying new things so they search out recipes to try as well. They never hear the word “diet” either–we are eating healthy, as a lifestyle and not for a temporary fix.

So Mom’s Diner will be alive and well for many years to come–and really, I don’t mind. Who knows, maybe they will find recipes that will surprise me and will become some of my favorites as well. Now that they are cooking as well, I hope they will find recipes all of us will eat, if not we will improvise, adapt and overcome!

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