He Eats His Peas One At A Time!

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Cooking and Eating

My kid doesn’t eat meals. That sounds weird, but in the past few days I have taken a long hard look at what he consumes and have come to the conclusion that Malcolm is unable to eat anything that involves three or more ingredients. Mac and cheese: OK. Cereal: fine, with milk only. A sandwich: acceptable, but only if the original layout is deconstructed and the items (bread, cheese, meat) are consumed individually. I’m not sure how he got here, but I pine for the days when I can give him some chili and he won’t look at me like I just shot his favorite stuffed animal.

I blame myself. Early on, I learned that I could sneak vegetables into places where they could not be detected. I put tiny bits of asparagus in the spaghetti. I put microscopic amounts of red pepper into quesadillas and spinach into places where even Popeye wouldn’t expect it. One day, he asked what all the little green flecks of green in the mac and cheese were. I told him it was broccoli. He burst into tears and told me that he didn’t love me anymore.

If only it were this easy every time

Now, he doesn’t trust me. He knows that big saucy dishes with tons of ingredients have things in it that rabbits eat. I guess he feels the only way to counteract my sneakiness is to simplify things to the extent where he can easily tell what’s in his food. We have come to some sort of truce, and he will eat raw whole vegetables provided he is satisfied with the sexier portions of the meal. His dinner plates look like he’s anal retentive: each separate food group isolated from the others and segregated to different parts of the plate. He then dissects each portion of the plate in descending order of unhealthiness.

I’m a simple man, with simple hopes and dreams. I want my family to be happy and healthy. I want my boy to grow up and realize that eating food is a social and joyful experience. I want cook like Alice Waters, eat like Luciano Pavaratti and party like Tiger Woods. And one day, I want us to sit down as a family and eat the same thing.

Anyone got any ideas?

6 responses to “He Eats His Peas One At A Time!”

  1. Amy says:

    Paul – but what about the salami and huckleberry jam “burritos” he had the other night? Maybe he needs to see you make a puke face first before he combines foods??

  2. Kyle says:

    Peas…you got me thinking of soup again.

  3. Erin says:

    Sounds like the “just right” phenomena my psych teacher just taught us. He’ll get over it eventually.

  4. Gracie says:

    I sneak veggies into everything too… I hope David doesn’t get wise too soon…

  5. Salami + jam = 2 ingredients. Well within the guidelines.

    Kyle, you’re not the first person to think my blog is souptastic!

    Erin, what is the just right phenomena? I never took psych.

    I guess the good thing about not being able to sneak things into food is that he actually understands which vegetables are which and how they taste. (Even if they taste “yucky?”)

  6. Meg Bear says:

    actually you sound like a food success story in my world. You want to talk failure then come right on over.

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