Picky Eater

October 25, 2007, 1:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Let me introduce myself a little more. I was born in 1965 and grew up in the Netherlands, in a suburb of a city called Rotterdam, one hour South of Amsterdam. I consider myself lucky with two devoted, loving parents; a handy and loyal dad and an inspiring, great cook as my mom. My mom went back to school to get her Bachelor degree at age 42, while working at the same time.

My dad would always make our lunches, healthy whole wheat sandwiches (they did not have full serving cafeteria’s in high schools then), and my mom would make dinner from scratch and fresh products. Both my brother and I had one bottle of soda per week, and limited access to candies and snacks. My mom likes to experiment with all kinds of cuisines from Asian, Italian to vegetarian. When I was in my early twenties we took a year long macrobiotic cooking class together. I learned a lot about food then, but this way of eating made me a little too skinny 🙂

In 2000 I moved to the US and within one year I gained almost 10 pounds. In Holland I would bike to work and walk to the grocery store, I had to make it an effort to gain weight! Now I had to go to a fitness club and loose weight! All food portions were so big in my eyes, as if giants had to be fed. Even chains like McDonald’s had bigger sizes here than in Holland. What also puzzled me was that bread and milk for example would stay OK for weeks, while in Holland milk becomes sour in a week and bread becomes dry. So I started to wonder more and more about additives and preservatives. I changed my diet and got more groceries at stores like Wholefoods and the farmers markets.

Now that I am a mother of a 4 year old witty girl I am even more concerned with the food I buy and prepare. I am scared to see what they serve in schools, because I know there is a direct connection to brain development, brain performance and food. I get upset when I encounter parents who give up and/or give in. I know this 8 year old boy who is constantly ill with colds and such, guess what he eats: processed spaghetti from a can and chicken nuggets, nothing else! His parents are the most devoted parents I’ve ever seen, yet they worry that he’ll starve himself if they would make him eat other things, since he refuses to eat anything else.

Children only have their parents as an example and as their guide…I am not a saint, don’t get me wrong (3 years ago I was still a smoker!), just trying to do my best as most parents do. I hope I can contribute a tiny bit to a healthier America and inspire people to inform themselves, and explore together with their children.

I asked myself, how come my daughter never asks for chicken nuggets or that stuff from a can? Because it is not in my pantry! Why does my girl eat raw mushrooms, endamame beans, asparagus, avocado, tomatoes, most fruits, plain yogurt (with a little honey)? Because I eat them and/or I presented them to her several times. She has her tweaks and turns and difficult eating moments, I just don’t make a big thing of it and I keep explaining things to her in a way that suits her age. She prefers to drink water and milk, sometimes some orange juice or juice I make myself. No soda’s (other than the ones dad drinks) or Gatorades in our fridge.

Until she starts to make more decisions by herself I’ll try to feed her as healthy as I can and make her conscious about food in relation with a healthy body and mind. I want my daughter to be a picky eater in the sense that she chooses only the best.

Be well,



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