Dealing with picky-eaters, different tastes, and comparisons to biomom's cooking
Different tastes and customs at mealtime.
I’ve found mealtime is especially hard in a mixed culture step-family. My step-kids are 100% Peruvian, and I’m 100% European/raised in Canada.
They are used to their mom’s cooking – classic Peruvian dishes (which she trumps me at), and take-out (which I don’t allow very often).
I’m used to international foods, I get bored of eating the same thing twice, and I like variety in my ingredients. I love sushi, butter chicken, Thai curries, and the occasional cabbage roll to name a few.
But thanks to my step-kids limited tastes, those things are pretty much off the menu at our place. When I do try to incorporate “odd” items such as mushrooms into my recipes, it’s almost always met with sour –faces. Although I try to put on a poker-face like it doesn’t matter, their rejecting my food can make me feel pretty horrible inside.
Don’t get me wrong, Peruvian food is one of the best in the world (…ceviche, need I say more), but having to plan mealtimes around my step-children’s tastes, and me not getting to eat what I want a lot of the time because they don’t like it, makes me feel bitter and resentful.
It also brings up feelings of competition with their mom, who can get them to eat spaghetti and they love it… but no matter which way I make it they seem to hate it.
Am I not good enough?
I’ve discovered that one of the underlying reasons I can feel so defeated when it comes to mealtimes is an underlying belief that I’m not good enough. This limiting belief gets triggered inside of me every time they reject my food.
Feeling like I’m not a good enough cook soon escalates into feeling like I’m not a good enough mom, woman, human being… you get the point. I can be my own worst critic.
The truth is, it’s not my step-kids' fault that I feel like I’m not good enough. It's not even their mom's fault. Somewhere along my way in life, I picked up this false belief about myself, and now when I am put in a situation that make me feel rejected or threatened, I react by feeling not good enough.
If I want to eat mushrooms, I can eat mushrooms. Their sour-faces don’t mean that I’m not good enough. It just means that they don’t like mushrooms… and that’s okay.
Do you ever feel like a failure at mealtime with the step-kids? How do you deal? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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Anna de Acosta
Stepmom, biomom, and wife... living life with the blended family of my dreams and being a lighthouse for love and inner peace.