So I have to confess when I was a kid, I was probably a bit weird for my time on the eating front.   I didn't like veg (which of course is not weird), but I did have some interesting avoidance tactics...   

I managed to kid myself that the peas shoved behind the freezer (which I sat next to), would never be found.   I feigned toilet breaks to smuggle toilet roll onto my lap so I could parcel up the yukky stuff and throw it away later.    I threw my salami sandwiches in the ditch on the way home from school, trying to remember how my Mum had got the impression I liked it.     I didn't like mustard, mayonnaise, coleslaw, smelly cheese, brown sauce, and also had a particular aversion to red cabbage, amongst a huge list of other stuff.   I did like most meat, pasta and rice, any fruit and about three different vegetables (in small quantities).   By today's terms I think you might call me a star eater, but then my mum gave me food supplements, as she worried I wouldn't get enough vitamins.

I find myself sliding down the slippery slope of cooking different variants of the same dinner to accommodate my beautiful, faddy children;  not to mention of course our morning rush hour with with raisin, grapes and banana porridge for one, and cereal with strawberry and blueberry for the other.  How few hours do I have in the day but how much of it do I waste fiddling around with the complex and different needs of my wonderful children.  Am I really spending my time and love wisely - do they really appreciate it?  (yes a dumb question I know).
A good friend of mine recently confessed to cooking up to 3 different dinners a night to accommodate the different eating habits of her family.  She works full time, and has less time than I do.  How is it we, as intelligent women, have ended up being a slave to our children's faddy behaviour?   What really gets me is the friends for tea scenario.    I've given up asking if there is anything the friend doesn't like, as the list is often so long, I start panicking about what I am going to feed this child.    So now, I ask ' what would xxx like to eat', and find myself adding a special trip to the supermarket, and buying some kind of rubbish I wouldn't normally feed my kids, just to be a 'good hostess'.

As for the friends, we have the dry pasta eaters, the no sauce, or no 'lumps' brigade.  The veggie-fruit phobics and the potato haters (unless of course it has been powdered mixed with chemicals and re-formed into some bizarre shape).   We also have the 'I only really eat junk food' friend, who constantly asks for biscuits.   I don't have biscuits I say, then hastily make a mental note to go and buy some for when this kid next comes round, so I don't have the shame of having him tell his parents how mean I am.  By far the worst of all is the kid you bend over backwards to please, and then after all your efforts, they hardly touch their food!

So this week, I am going to try being more assertive with my kids.   I won't make them gag, or force them to eat something they don't like, but I'm not going to buy anything 'special' for their friends, and I'm not going to let them have cereal before bed unless they finish their tea.    Most importantly I'm axing the multiple variants.   I will spend the time I save playing with them.