I have collected the data, constructed a hypothesis, tested, analyzed the data, and am now reporting my results.
4 out of 5 children will become picky eaters in 1st grade.
Probably 5 out of 5 but I still have one who isn't of age.
10 years ago when Hailey, my oldest, was in 1st grade I noticed her being very particular about what she deemed acceptable at the dinner table. Things we had always eaten were suddenly unpalatable. With a Kindergartner and a 1 year old at the table as well, and being in the season of parenthood where developmental milestones for each child changed rapidly, we were used to adapting quickly and moving on.
Not immediately, but 1 year later when Hayden entered 1st grade, the same thing happened with him. Still thinking it may be a imitative response, we adjusted and moved on. Our menu was becoming quite restrictive. No more could I slap pork chops and sauerkraut on the table and expect that I would be applauded. Pork chops and ketchup...maybe.
5 years later, enter Griffin, a 1st grader. With 2 more babies younger than him and the beginning of our homeschooling journey underway, I had more to think about than the hypothesis I had formulated. It seemed like ages ago.
When something happens once...OK. Twice...coincidence? Three times...there has got to be something behind this. My first thought was "school". Griffin had attended Pre-school and Kindergarten, and the big kids had years of it under their belts before we started homeschooling, it MUST be related. Maybe it was their newly formed independence, being away from home all day and being introduced (via other's brown bags) to more "exciting" foods, or maybe it was the increased amount of responsibility placed upon them that made them yearn for more control in their lives. Whatever it was, it was annoying. And once again, we adjusted and moved on. By now, telling the offended party that "If you can't smell it, you can't taste it, so plug your nose and have a few bites. Then you're welcome to make yourself a peanut butter sandwich."
I was on a mission to find out whether this was a social issue or a developmental phase. I was hoping for the former... With 2 more boys yet to enter 1st grade and my menu options already dwindling, I was dreaming of sidestepping the obstacles I had encountered in the past.
I am doomed.
Pass the peanut butter.