Save. Spend. Splurge.

Why don’t we give more respect to children?

I have heard from more than one parent to “not waste money on the cake for kids”.

I’ve received a lot of suggestions to just buy some cheap crap cake somewhere, throw some M&Ms on it and give it to the kids to eat. While I am not knocking that kids would love a cake covered in M&Ms and the novelty of eating chocolate ON TOP OF CAKE does not exactly disappoint, I am a little disturbed that no one considers children to be worthy of good food.

I don’t subscribe to that train of thought so I am planning on buying a very nice, delicious blueberry cake (two of them) for all the children and educators (and myself!) to share at Little Bun’s preschool party.

(The leftovers)

Maybe it’s the influence of my partner and his entire family, but I don’t know why people don’t treat little children like little, respected adults.

Yes, their brains are not fully formed, they are not actually rational adults, but they are forming their tastebuds and opinions right now, and if you give them “whatever is the cheapest”, and you refuse to let them eat specialty items you love as an adult, is it any wonder they could grow up not liking “the good stuff”?

Tastebuds don’t just switch on and off when you turn a certain age.

Maybe for some people they do, but I still like certain things I ate as a child because I have very good memories associated with it. I also avoid certain foods in a similar fashion.

As children get older and their tastebuds mature, I feel like in some cases you could introduce new “weird” foods like raw fish and so on and have them take to it, but in many cases it may not at all until they’re much older (if ever, my sibling still to this day hates eating duck).

Little Bun eats raw fish for instance, and loves it. He is obsessed with sushi and ALWAYS hassles me for in the store.

I was at a barbecue the other day and the parent who organized it, bought steaks and “good stuff” for the adults, and for the kids, the cheapest, nastiest sausages he could find (his kids included).

He tried to grill that stuff for them, but it just doesn’t taste good. I mean, it doesn’t look good, smell good..what is the point of buying junk for children, especially your own?

Shouldn’t you want to treat your own child as good as yourself, if not better?

Why are we feeding our children crappy food and then getting mad when they want to eat junk as teenagers and then adults?

The foods you love as a child, begin now and will be things you remember for your entire life.

I can still remember that the rule in my house was:

You don’t have to like it, but you do have to try it at least once.

It’s the same rule I institute with Little Bun, and I offer him everything we eat, little bites of this, that, if he doesn’t want it, okay but at least he tried it.

He isn’t a picky eater either (thank goodness) and he is a GOOD eater, even long after everyone said he would turn into a little dictator and refuse to eat anything but white bread on a blanket on the floor while pretending he is at a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

I am lucky in that regard, but I also like to think that in the womb and also out, I do try to give him whatever we eat and to ask him to take a bite and at least try it. I don’t force him if he doesn’t want it, but I do say:

Try! It’s yummy! …

Even to this day, when I take him out to eat, he asks for sushi, and not the cooked stuff, he loves the raw sashimi and I will feed him piece by piece with chopsticks.

He sees that Mommy and Daddy think it’s yummy and he wants to try it too.

My partner thinks all of it is just pure disrespect for children.

We don’t think of them at all because they will eventually grow up, but have you ever seen hand rails for children – the ones who need it THE MOST – in metros and other public spaces?

Little mini toilets?

Little sinks they can reach to wash their hands?

I have only seen in China, handrails for children that they could reach and use to climb in every metro stop and staircase, and in Portugal, a little mini bathroom just for children in a mall. It was so thoughtful (and very well used, tons of kids loved going in there on their own to be “big kids” and to not need their parents’ help).

We really don’t consider children at all in society as valued beings, perhaps because they don’t make money, vote, or have any real ‘say’ in adult affairs, but this is something I find lacking. Sure, it’s double the work, but it does pay off when they see how independent and appreciated they can be in our lives.

Update: A quarter of the kids HATED the cake, and poked at it like it was a disgusting worm on their plate rather than yummy blueberries baked on top of a yummy custard.

I am STILL not giving up because the rest of the kids were eagerly eating it, and the French ones devoured it with gusto because they knew what clafoutis was…. If you are introduced early and try a bite, I still stand by it being a good thing for your tastebuds and learning experiences as a child.

What do you think?


  • mia

    You know what’s crazy to me? How many parents I see buying expensive designer clothes for their kids but feeding them cheap crap food.

  • liteadventurer

    With food, I agree. Kids should be fed quality stuff for both health reasons and to build good habits for the future.

    On the other hand, you can cheap out on clothes. They’ll outgrow them quickly and until they’re in their early teens, they won’t care what they look like. Might as well save your cash until they start eyeballing the designed brands their friends are wearing.

  • StackingCash

    From my perspective, there is little respect anywhere these days…

  • Troy Bombardia @ Bull Market

    I think respect is a two way street. I’m going to raise my kids differently from how my parents raised me. With my kids I don’t think I’m going to raise my voice and yell at them for making mistakes. After all, you wouldn’t really do that to other adults.

  • mia

    My son’s daycare/preschool provides lunches from different parts of the world to encourage adventurous eating. And they use organic milk, produce, etc. Of course, we pay for this… 🙂

  • Jamie

    I get both sides since we always tried to get our little guy to eat what we were eating and it was working up to a certain point and then he refused to eat most of what we ate for lunch/dinner. And everyone says that they will eat when they are hungry but I’ve almost put him to sleep without dinner because he just absolutely refused to eat what we were eating (spaghetti not even something like sushi, we haven’t even gone there yet) but I can’t just put him to sleep without eaten anything in more than 6 hours so we give him toast and peanut butter or yogurt or something that has a bit of protein in it so he doesn’t go to bed hungry. Maybe we started a pattern but if he just straight up refuses to eat what we’re eating (and yes, we do the whole “just try one bite”) so food ends up on him, on us, or on the floor (or all three). So, in the end we didn’t feel like we want to waste money buy buying too much of things that we know he won’t eat but we still encourage him to try the things we’re eating. We’ve tried cooking different things, raw food, cooked, with or without butter, sauce, cheese everything. He’s very picky. We’ve tried modelling good eating but it hasn’t worked out yet. He just turned 3 and is really starting to get the idea of consequences so I’m hoping we can hold out things he loves to eat like peanut butter, fruit, etc until he at least tries our dinner. Wish us luck 🙂

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I am definitely wishing you luck

      What I have noticed with adults telling me their eating habits is that THEY WILL GROW OUT OF IT.

      As they get older, their friends eat different things, they are interested in food.. they could really become gourmands. There was an interview of a chef — Voltaggio — who said he would ONLY eat a certain meal when he was a kid with no vegetables. Now? He eats and cooks with them all the time and won Top Chef..

      There is hope!

      Some kids are just not good eaters but you can only try your best in that day and time.

  • M

    Completely agree!!! I found in Japan, adults cherish children and respect them in a way we in North America do not.

  • Domonique of She's The IT Guy

    I definitely agree with your point of view. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that my boys are just tiny humans. They have emotions, they have thoughts of their own — they’re humans, just tiny. The more I embrace that, the easier it is to treat them with respect, which includes sticking up for them when family members say things that I don’t agree with. I’m somewhere in the middle with speaking to them as I would an adult (no baby talk, using proper terms, and such) and speaking to them as children (no beating them over the head with knowledge or inviting them into conversations about adult situations).

    Our biggest splurge are treats since we don’t go out much. BTW, if my oldest wasn’t allergic to Blueberries, I’d love to try that treat you bought for Little Bun’s class. Unfortunately, we have a host of food allergies here, myself included, so we just avoid those foods altogether.

    – Domonique

  • SarahN

    I get your point, but with the handrails and toilets and stuff, one thing that busts my brain is that children are so varied in height and size, and so nothing works as universally as ‘adult’ proportioned items..

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Hmm.. true, but at least an option of where they can at a certain age reach those handrails and use the toilets it would be fine. Now Little Bun is in between a tiny toilet and a big one. He can hop on a big one and hop off but I am so scared each time he will topple over, lose his balance and smash his head.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *