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Divorced eGulleteers: Feeding the Kids


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I Am Still Married, and my child turned out to be everything an eGullet Mama could wish for: she cooks, she travels and eats street food, she dines out and thinks about what she's eating. That's a few miracles right there!

Teri's thread Fixing Inedible Food got me thinking about my divorced eGulls. If you're the non-custodial parent do you freak when you open the fridge door at your ex-house and see nothing but processed food? If you're the custodial parent, do you worry about what the kiddies might be eating on those weekends away? Are there Wars of the Roses style food wars? Do the kids get confused or do they dig the contrast?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I guess I have one of those dream divorces. Not only do my ex and I get along, but we've both remarried and all attend school events etc together. Anyway, my ex married a japanese lady and she has introduced my son to a whole other type of cuisine. She and I often share recipes and ideas. I never worry about what my son eats when he's at his fathers's. I think some of my influence may have rubbed off from when we were still married as there are very few processed foods in his house and they are very much into fresh produce and balanced meals, maybe even more so than I am.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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As a child of divorce. I dug the change, really. Nutrition for kids over 10 should be the least of your worries after a divorce :wacko: older kids can find food on their own.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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If I understand what Emma is saying, I agree: by the time they're pre-teens, the die is cast. Either they've internalized the idea of good food, or they require a re-education for which no one has time. I know there's lots of stuff in their freezer and pantry that I wouldn't use, but I also know that my kids not only love coming to my place to eat (and not just because they love me), they recognize good food when they come across it.

My oldest is a line cook at an Atlanta restaurant, where he is relentless in pushing new dishes onto a tired menu; my youngest wants to be a pastry chef -- that is, of course, if the professional skateboarding career doesn't pan out. (Too bad I have no idea of how to teach him pastry.) My middle went through the teen-girl vegetarian stage, but came back to pork, as I knew she would. And when we went to the Atlanta Chili Cook-off this weekend, she correctly identified all the entries that weren't awful (not that there were many).

I don't freak out over the refrigerator contents any more; I've learned not to look.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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My kids are both better cooks than their mom, anyway.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I'm happily remarried, but remember well how the three older kids and I ate during the years that they were small and I was broke. I would do most of my shopping in the Machanei Yehudah open-air market (documented beautifully by SwissKaese in her last blog). Everything is always cheaper at the shuk, or was at that time. That meant shlepping home kilos of fresh produce, grains, baked goods, eggs, chicken for Shabbat - everything - on the rush-hour bus, on my way back from work. It also meant that we ate well, and economically.

Twice a month the kids would spend Shabbat with their Dad, and I know they ate well there too, only more basic meat and potatoes. What made me shudder was the quantity of soft drinks and sweets he would give them, but I didn't protest, as it was more important to me that they should feel free and happy with their Dad than to raise an issue which would have led to acrimony. The kids, now adults, are all thoughtful eaters and good cooks (my married daughter is going to teach me to make couscous this week, the way her Moroccan mother-in-law taught her). They all love to come home to Mom's kitchen, too (happiness for Mom).

Miriam

Miriam Kresh

blog:[blog=www.israelikitchen.com][/blog]

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I don't worry about the kids when I'm away. I know they eat more takeout when I'm gone, and more snacks, but I have them most of the time so they eat fairly well.

Besides, even when we were married, his night to cook usually involved hot dogs or spaghetti. Lots of restaurant chefs don't cook at home. When I get really busy we end up eating takeout when I'm with the kids sometimes too.

As for the "fixing inedible food" thread...

My beef with the vats of "glue" in my fridge is that I resent the choice between having to throw out a giant batch of food.....or having to plan my weeks menu around a big pot of wallpaper paste that I didn't make.

If only eGullet had a Meal Rehabilitation Hotline staffed by friendly volunteers!

:biggrin:

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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This title sure grabbed my attention! I'm now in the midst of my second divorce, and my first divorce from my 27 year-old son's father was like Marlene described hers, as far as Michael was concerned. Later all four of us parents dined together with him to celebrate special occasions through school, college, OCS, Winging, etc. When he was small, food was different at his dad's -- more "homestyle" and less variety, but he ate well. He had an appreciation of the different lifestyles... But as an adult he turned out more like me (yay! :wink: ), and enjoys foods and wines his father has never heard of.

This time, there was no question about such things. Russ and I don't have kids together. I have custody of the grand dog and he has visitation priviledges. :raz:

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Another divorced kid chiming in to say that the change was fun for me, even if it was a bit frustrating for my mom.

As a kid, I didn't mind three days of hanging around an apartment pool, eating pizza and junk Chinese food, and snacking on bowls full of marichino cherries in bars. My mother, however, had different feelings on the issue. :hmmm:

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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As the divorced parent of 2 now grownup children.... the best and wisest thing to do is nothing. You can't control what goes on at the other parent's home ie what the kids eat when they are not with you. Trying will upset the kids :angry: and make your forehead flat :wacko: and give you a permanent headache :wacko::wacko:. Be happy that the kids see their mom/dad :smile: and have a hopefully good relationship with them. :smile::smile:

"Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi."

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh

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As a separated father of two little girls, (joint custody) I'm rather lucky in that I 'm a chef of a little Italian enoteca and so my girls come in when I have them(actually the nanny). On my off days we eat out. When out they will try almost anything, salad, most veggies, etc., but at home they retreat to a very limited range of what I might guess are sort of comfort, requiring no thought or energy, types of food(chiken veg soup, pasta, fruit/cheese/triscuits, hot dogs, etc.) Their mother mentions the same habits.

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