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.
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?”
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,” 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.”
“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.”
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.
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.