A Mom's Guide to Saving on Groceries


I read statements by moms of young children all the time that go something like this: “You have to TRAIN your child to like vegetables.” Almost without exception, these moms have very young children. To make matters worse, they are hearing this from scientists and experts, so of course, it must be true. Some of it is, but those scientists never met MY kids.

Mine are really spaced out. I have a 17 year-old, an 8 year-old, and a 2 year-old. My toddler is not very picky at all, and will eat vegetables, because I always provide them. Sound familiar? Well, that was what I thought, too, twelve years ago.

And then my firstborn, at the ripe old age of 5, suddenly decided he hated melted cheese. What child doesn’t like melted cheese? Regular cheese was fine. You just couldn’t melt it. You should have seen the looks I got when I had to order our pizza. Half without cheese. For the child. Didn’t he know he was supposed to demand cheese pizza?

Now, he’s a foodie, like me. And he shares my philosophy: Most Problems Can be Solved With Cheese. I almost gave him a wheel of cheese for Christmas last year, but decided in favor of his arteries and gave him something else. And he loves sardines and anchovies. Blech! How did that happen? I had nothing to do with that…

At the moment, my eight year -old is just starting to eat french fries. Hates corn, and mashed potatoes. Apparently nobody filled him in on the “Universal Kid’s Code of Favorite Kid Foods,” either. And for you young mothers out there, let me just say he loved those things when he was two.

The only vegetable I can get him to eat is olives, and that’s a fruit. I think I’m making a breakthrough on broccoli, though. Really, he does eat vegetables all the time; he either doesn’t know it, or can’t get around it. Like the chopped spinach that’s in a lot of my food, and is too small to pick out.

Somewhere in my memory banks was the knowledge that taste buds change. I decided to look it up, and I found what I think may be the answer: Taste buds change every 5 to 7 years. Which explains why this seems to happen between the ages of 5 and 7 with my kids, anyway. What about yours? Any comments?

Here’s a short article:


Then there is that indefinable individuality factor, the “I can do it myself” phase that means your child’s sudden dislike of broccoli may have absolutely nothing to do with food at all. If your child suddenly gives you a hard time at meals, you may be engaging in a power struggle. And guess what?

There exists all sorts of advice on this subject. The only advice I can give you is that you will suffer, because you can’t win. Even if you win, you lose. I hate that. I’ve been there, and I think I’m finally over that particular hump. But I must have tried a zillion different tactics, read almost as many articles. Good luck! I’m not smart enough to give you advice, and I don’t have a finger to point with, so I’m just going to pretend like I’m successful. Humor me, ok?  Anyway, it seems to be working.

In the meantime, just keep telling yourself it’s just a phase (that can last for years…). And keep shoveling the veggies at them, both incognito and otherwise. Most likely, if kids are required to taste vegetables at least periodically, they will like most of them eventually. A healthy lifestyle and diet really will become a part of their grown-up lives if you make it part of their lives as children
Just don’t make the assumption that it will be easy.