Monday, April 13, 2009


Here's what the boys ate for dinner last Sunday:

* Grilled kidney
* Dandelion green salad
* Veal loin
* Zucchini

To be fair, they definitely ingested more meat than green things. They are clearly carnivores. Still, I think it is pretty safe to say that they are - at the ripe old age of almost-two - less picky eaters than I am. (Just to be clear - hubby was the cook.)

I suppose the idea of small children eating what many might consider unorthodox (if not unappetizing) meals isn't too crazy an idea - after all, how many of us want to scarf down tiny jars of pureed chicken and carrots? (Not to mention breast milk.) But that is all before they have the power of choice. These days the twins have decided mastery of the word 'no.' And - perhaps even more pertinent - they ask for things they want: "cracker? cookie? cake? snack!"

And yet, they eat almost everything we set down in front of them. With the exception of a higher daily dosage of raisins and rice cakes, they pretty much each what we do. Even broccoli.

So, here's the real question: how long is it going to last? How long until we slink into that deep oil vat of chicken fingers and french fries? How long until we're fighting the battle against monochromatic meals?

My fear is that it is inevitable. All toddlers hate almost all food. And all the anecdotal evidence I've amassed over the years certainly supports that view: meals rejected for their condiments (or lack thereof), menus discarded for 'noodles with butter,' vegetables pushed around plates to the point of wilt.

But maybe there's an alternative. Maybe the boys have inherited some crazy, no-such-thing-as-picky-eating gene from their father. Maybe they are preternaturally conditioned to think of food as the world's most refined extreme sport - anything has the chance to be good, so why wouldn't you try it?

Me? I have to be convinced. Like with those kidneys on Sunday. I gingerly took a bite - having sliced off a tiny sliver from the end, and coupled it on my fork with enough vinegar-soaked leaves to drown out any potentially noxious taste. And phew - it was fine. More than fine. I ate (almost) all of it. I might even try it again. Maybe. To be fair, I have a rough personal history with the kidney as an organ - so my squeamishness is at least understandable. (Although one could think I have even more incentive to chomp my way through them.)

Hubby's way is better - no question. It leaves one open to new experiences, and facilitates finding meals in foreign countries (I did see him demur when offered fried bugs in Thailand, although he's likely to deny it). Hopefully, they'll take after him.

Could we really be that lucky, and bypass the worst of the 'it's just a phase' phases? Or is it all about to come crashing down as the clock strikes midnight on their second birthday?

Regardless, for all the anecdotes I've witnessed as other parents try to wheedle their way through the food pyramid - I haven't witnessed malnourishment. Even if the ketchup bottle is about to take an extended bow, they'll live. We all will.

Except, of course, hubby. He'd have a conniption.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!