Help me, I am raising a male Julia Childs. I have the oddest kind of picky eater. He has a “Check mark list” and an “Xs list” (pronounced Exits). There is no in-between.
While pregnant I read an article about a woman’s experience in watching some visiting youngsters from France chow down on oysters without pause because it was the type of food to which they were accustomed. That article set in motion the pampering and snobby attitude that all first-time parents experience. There is no question that I love to cook, and yes, I made all of his food fresh by hand. I pureed fresh fruits and vegetables for each meal while he was a baby. It wasn’t that hard and much cheaper than the baby food jars. But the main attraction to this type of inconvenient food preparation was that I have always been staunchly opposed to creating more than one meal to please different tastes. I thought this would eventually save time and money. And, thus, when my son was a baby and we were introducing new foods, I was so happy to see him like “adult” foods. But now that he is 5, it’s a terror. The difference is yes, he does like adult foods but only of his choosing. Although he still has a few traditional kid favorites such as pizza and tacos, I have had more than my fair share of picky toddler tyrants. This little dude can rival Gordon Ramsay any day in the screaming your face off arena. Did I mention that those French kids were the products of a chef professionally trained at the famous Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School? What was I thinking?
Here are 10 reasons my child is a future food critic:
1. He asks for Grilled Salmon for his birthday dinner.
2. Expensive cheeses are never wasted at my house but they may go missing if I don’t pay attention. (Roquefort Blue Cheese, Smoked Gouda, Feta)
3. I can’t even go to the aisle next to the imported olive bar unless I intend to purchase a giant tub. (For some reason, all of the grocery stores around here have olive bars. Maybe its a DC thing)
4. Chicken in all forms is bad, even nuggets!
5. You can’t fool me, mommy! There are mushrooms in this spaghetti sauce!
6. “What would you like for dinner this week, Blake?” Reply-“Steamed brocoli, dates, and an orchette cream pasta” (Yes, this was actually asked for this week.)
7. Will only eat organic soups (Amy’s vegetable soup, Amy’s lentil vegetable, Wolfgang Puck’s chowder) Chicken noodle- forget about it!
8. My poor sister-in-law served my son a bologna sandwich with american cheese. He exclaimed, “This isn’t real meat!” He was 3. Ok, I was kind of proud of this one at the time.
9. At the grocery store, he is allowed one item of his choosing. It can be anything, although I do steer him away from something with cartoons on it. Last week, he picked dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. The week before, it was pistachios.
10. Like most kids he changes his mind consistently, but I have no idea where to go next. For the last few months, he dived into any salad put in front of him from ceasar to asian. Last week, he decided salads were no longer on his “check mark list”. Now what?
I wanted to avoid the picky eater, instead I got the culinary savant. Go figure.