One of the questions I am often asked on my Instagram feed is, “Do your kids eat everything you post?” The short answer is no, they don’t, and I’m ok with it. Another common question is “Are your kids vegetarian?” Again, the answer is no, and I’m ok with that too.
The reason I started the Healthy Gluten-Free Family is that my son needs to eat a gluten-free diet (hello Celiac Disease) AND because he’s always loved trying new foods and the dining experience (see The Young Celiac Chef). He’s the kid who always wants to try new foods and flavors or variations of his favorite dishes. But with Celiac Disease, we need to make sure his food is prepared free of cross contamination, so he doesn’t have the option to just walk into any restaurant or deli and try anything he wants.
I am constantly cooking new foods and flavors so that he can try them. It’s all about exposure. Sometimes he loves it and devours it. Sometimes, he’ll say it’s too spicy or it smells great but he’s not sure of the flavor. Sometimes, he just doesn’t like it. And that’s ok, I expect that. If he doesn’t eat what I’ve made initially, at least he’s had the chance to try something new in a safe environment and will know what it tastes like.
As to the vegetarian question, my boys are definite omnivores. While I tend to post mostly vegetarian meals, we often prepare a simple steak or chicken for the boys. There are two reasons for my mostly vegetarian posts:
1. I eat a mostly plant-based diet and have by choice, for years. It’s a personal preference and it’s what works best for me. Even though my husband is an omnivore, he also eats a mostly plant-based diet for personal health reasons and it works for him. So we cook lots of plant-based meals.
2. My kids hate waiting to have their food photographed! Whereas I have become quite comfortable eating all my food cold, LOL.
Also, remember that I am feeding two growing boys… a tween and a teen. They are always hungry and always looking for the next meal. On any given day, they may eat what I post, along with ten other things! If you follow my Instagram Stories, you will see my son loves eggs and bacon in the morning. Both boys also enjoy chicken and beef. While it’s not my personal preference, I am actually quite happy that my celiac child enjoys these foods. They are simple, real foods and among the easiest to prepare gluten-free and free of cross contamination, which makes it easier for him dining out and traveling with celiac disease.
So, because of my son’s constant interest in trying new foods, I’ll continue to cook not only his favorites but lots of new-to-him flavors and foods. I’ll also continue to cook vegetables that he won’t always eat. And you’ll see from time to time that my husband and I devoured something while the boys ate their own thing. This may not work for every family, but it works for us.