Having been raised in 3 different households as a child I experienced lots of different "methods" of getting me to eat! From the "you will eat it all until you finish it, even if you have to sit for 2 hours!!" method as the extreme .. and on to my Fathers method .. which did not force me to finish my meal but only to have a small taste of the non eaten/preferred items.
I can say hands down that my Fathers was the best method by far. I asked him recently why he chose to use this approach with me as I was curious being that he was born and raised in Athens, Greece raised in the 50's and 60's and was surrounded by excellent seafood and entirely made from scratch meals with zero junk food, if this was his Mothers approach as well? He explained to me that growing up he was constantly challenged to eat and finish his meals whether or not he liked it and that in his words it was "a constant battle" he told me that he did not want to fight me and he did not want our meals together to be battles!
My father, was a single Dad with an extremely tight budget .. who did not care for me full time, and yet when he did have me in his care, he always!!! offered me freshly made meals from scratch! whether it was his simple but delicious way that he prepared his spaghetti that we often enjoyed or onto a more complex meal like crepes and shrimps .. he always took the necessary time to learn to tweak his ingredients to make his many varied meals delicious and also to taste like his own Mothers cooking that he had grown to admire in his adulthood .. and so very much missed, being an emigrant in a foreign country.
My Father was not what you would call a patient Dad he was often somber and stern .. but when it came to food I always found him so very much more gentle and calm .. he always desired for me to be involved in the shopping, preparing and eating. He had been raised with delicious well prepared food and even though in his youth it was more of a battle than an enjoyment .. and although he was not raised helping and learning in the kitchen .. what he did have was the palate to carry through to his own cooking when he needed it most! and the wisdom to pass it all on to me in a positive enjoyable way.
Along with this wonderful sharing of knowledge from my father ... has also been that of Karen le Billons leg work in sharing with us all a few more golden gems of the wisdom of the French .. one being that it can take up to 10 tastes for a palate to become accustomed to a particular food item .. and also the importance of the tastes of as wide a variety of items as possible for the palate.
As I am seeing such great and immense improvement on my little boys eating habits I have become more and more confident in the role I play within it all. Looking back at when I first started this journal it has been such a fascinating journey to just see the whole process .. the hard lessons learned .. new ideas mastered .. and the all important appreciation that just keeps growing and growing.