Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

For years Kira would eat nothing for lunch but PB&J sandwiches. Even into her teens, she still hesitated to eat anything that “looked weird.” Kyle and Derek, on the other hand, are our garbage disposals that all leftovers disappear into, aside from the odd dislike here and there. Parker is like me, in that he is finicky in regard to texture, and Anika will try pretty much anything.

We have never fought to have all of our children clean their plates or eat the same food. With different schedules and varying tastes, it just was never feasible. More recently, Parker’s braces have been a literal barrier against some of our dinner staples, and his Aspergers has made us even more sensitive to taste sensitivities and eating choices. Since Dave and I want to eat more than chicken patties every night, something had to be done.

The solution was to stock food that was nutritious, quick to prepare, and guaranteed to satisfy the children while Dave could prepare amazing meals ranging from baked tilapia to Chinese cuisine for ourselves and those kids willing to try it. Since we don’t use a microwave, a toaster oven is a handy gadget to have to accommodate all of our varied tastes and dietary needs.

Kira grew out of her pickiness eventually, and Parker may too. Even if he doesn’t, the important thing is never what everyone is eating; it’s that we are enjoying our time together as a family. We’ll never be that family who tells a child to go hungry rather than eat what we’re serving; we’ll never be that family who shames a child for having more sensitive taste than another. All we really want out of the meal is time together.