I have had a mixed relationship with food. As a child I loved to eat. As a young woman, food was the enemy. As an adult, I love food again, hallelujah!!
Unfortunately my son couldn't care less about food. Sure he loves mac and cheese and ice cream and all the dairy stuff....except chunks of mozzarella, he's not a mozzarella guy. I've tried to explain the relationship between pizza and mozzarella but it hasn't sunk in yet.
So I got pissed when the child wouldn't eat what I've made. And then I'd shout, and send him to his room. Thanksgivings have been rough. Until last year.
I made a choice to let it go. To lean into this frustration as a practice in totally accepting my kid as he is, even when I wish he'd see things my way. I WANT him to want to be curious about food. But he's not, and that is OK. He's interested in lots of stuff that I'm not interested in, and he's accepting of me. I chose to return the favor.
Last Thanksgiving I microwaved his favorite mac and cheese and the rest of us had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. No one cried, it took almost no effort, and we all met around the pumpkin pie. Reading back on my choice to make him a separate dinner does make me feel embarrassed, but this is what keeps the peace in the house. I DO explain that food is an exploration of cultures and travel and that I hope hope hope that one day he will be open to it. Taking out the shame and shouting was key to making that hope an option. If I continued to create a negative space around food, he'd probably never want to learn more with an open mind. So, I had to come to grips with my own food sensitivities in order to give my boy space and enjoyment.