According to my very unscientific meta-analysis of how picky toddlers are when it comes to eating, my conclusion is that it’s unlikely that Aidan will reach the super-stardom some kids achieve (can you say chicken nuggets and french fries for 15 years?). Based on data I’ve gleaned from anecdotes from moms (and dads), anecdotes from non-moms (laced in judgement), ‘mommy blogs’, and now my personal experience, it seems to be an ongoing source of contention.
I believe that starting a kid early to develop a taste for healthy food is just generally a good habit. When Aidan was still an infant I tried to make sure that he got a broad range of flavours – spices, textures – no bland mushy food here. That worked out well until he tasted a big chunk of Atlantic salmon at Red Lobster one night. Now he’s much more picky. “No problem,” I thought. “You got this!”
I was wrong.
As it turns out, the internet is not the ‘solve all your problems’ educational tool that Trump makes it out to be. What it is, however, is a great place to outsource. Website after website outlined how to get your kid to eat peas, carrots, brussel sprouts, etc., but my problem has always been getting in enough protein. He likes pretty much all fruit and veggies! Unfortunately, researching all these techniques was cutting in with my limited time with Aidan. Working moms unite!
Instead, I decided to get my little one to help me out in the kitchen. So far, the recipes haven’t been too healthy, but I can see he loves ‘helping out’ (even though it takes double the time to clean up). That will be part of my mission for 2017: getting Aidan involved in kitchen prep so he can see how his food is put together. I can already see he’s more open to trying things when he sees the ingredients first. I make sure he smells them and names them before putting them in. In theory, it’s supposed to work.
Anyway, last week we were trying to put together some pumpkin muffins. I had all I needed spread out right down to the last measured spoonful of salt – even an extra egg so he could find out what it was like to crack one open! Everything was going according to plan with him mixing the dry ingredients. Wet ingredients in another bowl. By thinking ‘this will be a breeze’, I unwitting tempted the deity in charge of baking arrogance. As Aidan saw the box of open baking soda, he decided it looks close enough to sugar and dumped the entire contents into the half-mixed mash.
I mixed up a new batch while he took a nap (and after J went out to buy some replacement eggs) because I wanted Aidan to have the experience of eating what he had made after seeing it come out of the oven.
As it turns out, he doesn’t like pumpkin muffins.