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The food thing is not exactly a behavior problem; it's more of a psychological (and perhaps partly physiological) issue that we have to accept and deal with.

RenaissanceWoman, true... I'm sure there are at least psychological reasons and there's even a strong possibility there might be a physiological basis as well. Does anybody out there remember the research from more than a year ago about why some people might not like broccoli, or other foods? Some people have a higher sensitivity to certain types of 'bitter' or textual flavors that not everybody has - it was great news for people who've long tried to suffer with what they couldn't tolerate. The basis was not only 'bitter' but also 'sweet' and other things; the research studied people with chronic sweet tooth (teeth?), aversions to broccoli or other specific foods. Texture and other issues were also included in the research, but I could only remember the thing about 'bitter' and 'sweet.' They discovered some type of detectable thing about different people having different sensitivites. Also, I think there was also something about some children having heightened sensitivites to food. I'm sorry I can't remember specifics!

DollarIQ, I'm sorry to hear about your negative experiences growing up. What do you mean by force-feeding? I tried to imagine what it would entail, and had a vision of my husband holding our child down while I stuff tofu in his mouth. . .how else could you "force" a kid to eat? I can't think of anything, short of corporal punishment, that would make my son eat beans. And even then I'm sure he would gag and vomit involuntarily.

Thanks for the expression of support; the fact that you can empathize with your own child, and even me, shows you're a very concerned individual. RenaissanceWoman, I hope you realize how valued that is in general, though often there is not material recognition for being caring. To answer your question, I'll spare the readers the details, but you have the answer in your inquiry: "corporal punishment."

Unfortunately then he will see me putting tofu in his smoothies, but he should know the truth anyway.

Heh... the struggle between trying to sneak it in to nourish him unknown to himself, or actually having him make a conscious effort to accept it and develop an honest appreciation or personal judgement of it, heh.

I don't like him eating meat at friends' houses and school, but you're right, I can't control his choices completely. ... At the same time I don't want my son to lie to us or conceal the fact that he eats meat occasionally. So I have to hope he will come to the right decision on his own, when his reason and willpower are better developed. I myself wanted to become a vegetarian in my teens, but my commitment did not become firm until many years later. It's very hard to buck cultural norms when you're young.

I think you are doing the best possible, in terms of the sociological aspects of eating styles. You would like him to follow a certain ideal, but the real world out there isn't as particular. All you can do is show him what you prefer, how, and why. When he grows up and starts to make decisions about himself, he'll have the foundation you provided for him. If anything, I hope he'll learn to respect diversity and differences in opinion, even though he follows his own preferences.

Also, I think the world is way too hard unproductively so; respecting individual choices and preferences is something the world at large has difficulty with. Demanding conformity is easier, in the short term, than learning to accept change and and adapting to unfamiliar ways and beings.

Enough for now... sorry, my work (boss) beckons,
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