The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Should kids eat what you serve or only what they want? Neither.

By Elizabeth Chang

13 Sep 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Shared mealtimes can be cherished family time or they can be nightmarish battles of the will. Parents should aim to teach their children competent eating.

When TikTok user Buggystops Kitchen posted a video in July of the individualized menus she gives her children - each sheet offering a few options for breakfast, lunch and dinner that she knows that particular kids likes - she caused quite a stir. Viewers watched the video more than 500,000 times and wrote more than 950 comments reflecting the well-worn debate over whether children should eat what's put in front of them or be allowed to choose their food.

Some commenters were horrified: "My kids eat what I serve. I'm not running a restaurant & I'm not a short order chef," wrote one. Others were impressed, adding comments such as: "I feel like this is a win win win. They feel like they have [a] say, you know they will eat it, the deciding what to make is done. Genius."

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