Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Rice and Beans Eating #FAIL

I've put off writing this post for a while because I feel like a Rice and Beans participant failure. I was so excited about the possibilities this month was going to bring to our family, the solidarity, the fasting from the world, the fasting from all foods in the "junk" category. I never thought I'd be a push-over-giver-upper. I began preparing our family for a month of just rice, beans, and assorted vegetables in January. We don't normally eat beans, not because we don't like them, simply because I didn't know how to make them. So in January I got some bean making advice and started making them for dinner twice a week.

The first time I made them Hayden ardently declared his dislike and refused to eat any of them. At first I thought he was being spoiled and would eventually grow to love them.....given time....and hopefully before the two months was up. I was grossly mistaken. Not only does he still not love them, he can barely stomach them. That makes two whole foods that my 3 year old can't stand, Beans and BRUSSEL SPROUTS. Who knew beans could even be grouped in the same category as brussel sprouts?! I mean, that's like comparing them to cabbage juice....which really just tastes like broccoli. Gah, some vegetables are rank. I digress.

We've gone from spoon feeding him the beans, to threatening him with imminent discipline, to watching him gag, and finally a grand ending about 2 weeks ago where he threw up after dinner. That's when I threw in the towel. Instead of solidarity we were getting stress, complaints, confusion, and finally barf.

I haven't completely given up. Mariah LOVES beans, and Helmut also seems to like them, so I'm still making them two or three times a week. I'm already looking forward to next year and thinking of how I can do things differently in between now and then to smooth the transition for the kids.

I feel a tremendous amount of guilt about this whole process. I know if we didn't have any other food available to us Hayden would probably learn to like his beans....or at least appreciate their value.

In spite of quitting early I have taken a few lessons out of this challenge. I do think I use food as a crutch, and a comfort more than I realized I did. I often let my daily menu dictate my mood, and happiness factor. I constantly "reward" myself with edible treats and make up for daily losses in sanity with coffees, chocolates, or CHEESE (did I tell you about my recent love affair with Brie?) All practices that I hadn't realized that I was developing and hope to curb quickly. I don't think their is anything wrong with treating oneself once in a while...just maybe not as often or as extravagantly.

Picture courtesy of Lahash. For more info on what Rice and Beans month is click here. For more info on the people behind Rice and Beans click here.


  1. Kari! Thanks for sharing about you guys' journey! When I was a kid I really hated beans as well (in fact I was a vegetarian for six months as a kid and what moved me back into being a carnivore was my mom insisting that I eat beans whenever the family ate meat!).
    It's really helpful to hear that you guys started preparing the family for meals in January. There are a lot of families that had difficulties with kids adjusting to the new diet. But that makes sense to ease in a new menu!
    I hope you don't think that the month was a failure! It sounds like there have been some great lessons learned and we'll incorporate the family ideas into the event next year.