Thursday, 30 April 2015

Food II: The Truth

Having written about how I was absolutely, definitely, never, oh-no-not-me going to worry about what LittleBear eats, I decided to reassure myself. Note: that's "reassure". Which is definitely not the same as worrying, or fretting, or obsessing. Completely different.

In the catalogue of things that I'm good at, writing lists comes right up there, just after worrying. So I wrote a list. A list of all the things that LittleBear eats. And once I wrote the list I realised that LittleBear really does eat quite a lot of things. OK, so I've listed "butter" as one of his foodstuffs, and I have separately categorized a variety of cakes and biscuits that are hoovered up, but on the other hand I haven't listed all the things he eats at nursery, which would certainly add some variety. And if anyone asks LittleBear what his favourite food is, he will say "butter", so I could hardly leave it out could I?

Meanwhile I also committed the cardinal sin, and read another article about feeding your children. And I really, really, really shouldn't have done. I was actually genuinely tempted to write and tell the author to get off her sanctimonious bloody high-horse and stop telling people how easy it is to get children to be adventurous with food.

You know what? I eat pretty much anything. LittleBear sees me eating it. LittleBear loves helping to cook. He loves digging his hands into a bowl of raw pork mince and squishing it up with egg and milk and breadcumbs and spices and then rolling little balls to cook as frikadellers. But he won't eat them. He loves smearing butter onto a raw chicken for roasting. But he won't eat it. He loves adding the flour to the meat juices from a roast and stirring to make gravy. But he won't eat it. He loves chopping and mixing and pouring and weighing and beating. But if what he ends up with in any way transgresses the mysterious rules by which he determines what he will or won't accept, then he won't eat it. We eat together as a family. We do everything "right" and it doesn't make a blind bit of difference.

So bully for you, you smug smarty-pants chef, with your marvellous food and your fabulous children who eat Sichuan oxtail stew and beetroot pilaf, but before you start telling the rest of us how easy and wonderful it is to cook all these things, and how much my child will love it, why don't you ponder whether perhaps you just got lucky? And that just maybe it isn't as simple as "cook and eat with your children and they'll eat everything". Do you honestly think the rest of us are too damn stupid to have thought of trying that?