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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Long Nights at the Kitchen Table

“By creatively offering children healthy, diverse foods, presented in ways to please even finicky palates, parents can support microbiome health while establishing a lifetime of good eating habits.” The preceding statement is an excerpt from, “Gut Health for Kids, Clever Strategies for Picky Eaters,” by Sheila Julson.

As I began reading this piece, I was teleported in my mind to our childhood dining room table. With dinner-time long past, my siblings off with friends or watching television, there I would sit. Sometimes for hours, no joke. Mom would be in her closest-to-the-kitchen head-of-the-table seat, fork in hand with me to her left writhing in disgust at the thought of what I was about to be forced to consume.

This day was likely a Tuesday. As I recall, Tuesday was “franks and beans” night; my least favorite of them all. Not only were the franks the kind of hot dog with the casing that gave them the nickname, “snappers,” but the canned beans, for me, were like torture.

Still, as I type these words, I catch the expression on my face; upper lip curled, eyes a little squinty, furrowed brow, pure disgust … aaaaugh, the frustration Mom and I put each other through during those long evenings alone in the dining room.

Every once in awhile our German Shepard would make her way past Mom when she was distracted, and I’d get to offload some to my faithful friend. Occasionally, she’d get a call and the opportunity would come to slip some into the trash. I’d try anything given the opportunity.

I didn’t think I was a picky eater; I’d try any kind of chocolate you’d put in front of me!

Mom had all good intentions, no doubt. I was a bone-skinny little kid before puberty took its toll and all the chocolate and ice cream started catching up with me. She wasn’t going to let one of her brood starve to death, lol.

Having not had children, I’m not sure what I would have done in my younger days being responsible for another human—such a huge responsibility! Given that I was barely aware of any nutritional do’s and don’ts during childbearing years, I’d have probably felt just like Mom.

That’s why I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to share the helpful options we strive to bring forward every month. Our desired outcome and vision is to be a solution-oriented place where you can take what works for you, share what you find helpful and leave the rest. I know I’m looking forward to trying some of Julson’s tips-for-picky-kids on myself this month!

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Have a safe, happy and healthy July!



Maisie Raftery, Publisher