Thu night I served up a veggie bake with some herbs from the garden - although I was totally stacking the deck as we don't normally have bacon and this had lots!
I made a giant batch aiming to serve it for a few lunches and having some left-over for the weekend.
It was not to be. The boys had thirds and my giant bake dwindled before my eyes.
This stirred up many emotions in me:
1. Delight. Because even after all these years I am so rapt when they love something I've cooked. It's true, it gives me such a boost. And trust me neither are shy when it comes to critiques so it's not an every day boost.
2. Satisfaction. That they chowed kilos of veggies (even their least favourites) with gusto and pleasure.
3. Disbelief. That they demolished so much and I would now have to reshuffle my menus and be back in the kitchen when I'd planned not to be.
4. Trepidation. As I realise that now Max is getting towards the teen years eating this volume of food is going to be the norm.
All of this made me so aware that every single one of these emotions are mine and mine alone. My boys just thought "nice food, I'm hungry, let me eat it".
I am very invested in what happens at the dinner table. As are most parents.
This can be a fabulous thing but it can also inadvertently derail meals.
The great news is though that in many cases changing what happens at the meal table is not a question of trying to make our child do something differently. It's a question of us changing our approach. And we can do that.
Changing our habits, our approach and our emotional investment is never going to be easy. But it is possible. If we can change, our kids will often have no option but to follow.
Are we attempting to change what our kids do when we can change what we do?
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.