The world has been particularly challenging lately and the last thing parents need is added pressure or having fingers pointed at them. We’re balancing a pandemic that has had our kids home since March, we’ve had to figure out a way to balance work and our kids’ virtual school all at home. And now a viral tweet wants us to feel bad about kids’ menus at restaurants? Not going to happen.
On Sept. 25, 2020, Jill Filipovic, author of “OK BOOMER, LET’S TALK: How My Generation Got Left Behind,” decided now was a good time to not-a-parent-splain some unsolicited advice, and give her insight on something she doesn’t have practical experience in.
“I know the thing parents hate most is when non-parents assert what they will do as parents which is inevitably smug and incorrect, but I am 100% sure I will never assent to a ‘kid’s menu’ or the concept of ‘kid food,’” she tweeted.
I know the thing parents hate most is when non-parents assert what they will do as parents which is inevitably smug and incorrect, but I am 100% sure I will never assent to a “kid’s menu” or the concept of “kid food.”
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) September 25, 2020
In a subsequent tweet, she followed up with a rhetorical thought, writing, “Do you think children in most of the world order off a ‘kids menu’ and survive primarily off of chicken fingers and plain pasta?”
Everyone who is like, “oh this is so unrealistic, just wait until you’re a parent!!”: do you think children in most of the world order off of a “kids menu” and survive primarily off of chicken fingers and plain pasta?
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) September 25, 2020
The reaction to her tweet was swift because no one asked her opinion and critique on how parents feed their children. Not only because no one asked her, a non-parent, what she thought about kids’ diets, but it was clear that Jill didn’t understand the full purpose of a kids’ menu – they’re smaller portion sizes, cheaper, and common foods that most kids aren’t going to throw a tantrum about.
It’s not even an original take because ALL non-parents say that before they have kids. Unless you are planning to bring them up in your basement where they are never exposed to other kids who eat chicken fingers, it’s not going to happen.
— Ilana Wiles (@mommyshorts) September 25, 2020
“It’s not even an original take because ALL non-parents say that before they have kids,” one mom tweeted back. “Unless you are planning to bring them up in your basement where they are never exposed to other kids who eat chicken fingers, it’s not going to happen.”
My husband and I are both food scientists. One of our twins eats like 5 things and 4 of those are battered/breaded 🤷🏻♀️
— Cluster (@clusterx2) September 26, 2020
Parenting is exclusively picking your battles and I could truly care less what menu my kid picks from as long as he’s agreeing to eat and not throwing food at other people
— josie duffy rice (is on leave) (@jduffyrice) September 25, 2020
Yeah. You seem to be thinking parents sit down and say “only Kids menu items are appropriate for kids.” When in reality it’s “Please. Eat. Something! I beg of you.”
I’d feed the kid foie gras every day if they ate it.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) September 25, 2020
“Yeah. You seem to be thinking parents sit down and say ‘only Kids menu items are appropriate for kids.’ When in reality it’s ‘Please. Eat. Something! I beg of you,'” another parent pointed out. “I’d feed the kid foie gras every day if they ate it.”
The truth is, it’s not the parents who decide what a child is going to eat, and thinking that way highlights the lack of understanding of food issues like texture challenges, sensory processing difficulties, and food allergies that hide as “picky eating.”
Dangerous thoughts, Cara. From birth we’ve had our daughter sleep in a king bed, dress only in adult clothing, and drive herself to daycare. I know it sounds dangerous, but it’s a Toyota Camry; they practically drive themselves. A few phone books and she’s sound as a pound.
— Will Hobson (@TheWillHobson) September 25, 2020
I was an actual adventurous eater as a child. My mother thought it was her superior parenting. (Wasn't). I gave birth to a child with a strong gag reflex who is picky beyond belief. When asked to try something he doesn't want, he projectile vomits. Parents don't get to decide.
— Emily Guy Birken (@EmilyGuyBirken) September 25, 2020
The truth is, everyone is a perfect parent who has it all figured out, including knowing exactly what they’re not going to do before they’re in charge of a young human. They vow they’re not going to mess everything up and make things harder on themselves – you know, like the ones who feed their kids dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets because that’s what they’ll eat.
Also, kids have about 3x the taste buds adults have, so they experience some flavors more intensely, and in many cases adversely. Texture is also an issue even with neuro typical children, but especially kids who have sensory issues.
— Carla Riseman (@ShesAllWrite) September 26, 2020
But, the reality is, we’re all just doing our best and if that means our kids eat microwaved macaroni and cheese while we eat their cold nuggets because they decided they hate them now, so be it. Taste buds change, and it’s not worth the fight.