Monday, 29 September 2008

Food glorious food. Or not according to my son.

I have just eaten my body weight in pork stroganoff and now feel a little ill. Actually quite a lot ill. I made this dish thinking that a mild creamy sauce with thin strips of pork with braised rice and peas would be something my children actually ate. (Obviously I would hand pick out the mushrooms and onions as they would instantly poison the entire plate of food.) But no. Silly me.

'I HATE THIS! I HATE THIS! I HATE THIS! WHY ON EARTH DID YOU MAKE THIS?' was the response I got from my precious little cherubs. Good question? Why on earth did I possibly think that a meal I had spent more than 5 minutes preparing would be consumed? And why - pray tell - did I think that rice was a good idea on the day the cleaner had just been? I'm now going to be treading on rice for a week.

It appears that son 1 has decided to become vegetarian. This is both troubling and annoying. For a while now, he's not been wanting to eat meat that he has to chew (except for bacon, because no human being on the planet can resist bacon). So I could sort of get away with a bolognaise sauce, but really he'd only eat what was stuck to the pasta and leave the rest. I assumed laziness or texure issues. But I'm beginning to think it goes deeper than that.

Yesterday we had a roast chicken. He looked sideways at the uncooked bird and asked: "Did that used to be a real chicken?" So I said yes. No point letting him believe that supermarkets manufacture them straighout out of the shelves (although I do believe some of the chicken products on offer in some of the supermarkets have been made exactly this way). So he then asked where the head had been. I could tell that this wasn't going to end well. But I vaguely waved in the right direction. He was quiet for a few minutes and then announced: "I won't be having the chicken, just the vegetables and potatoes." Sigh.

Today I asked him to please try a piece of pork. He did with the promise of 3 jelly beans. He gagged on it. Sigh.

I asked whether it was the taste or texture that bothered him. He said: "it's everything". I think he just doesn't like meat. And this is bad for the following reasons:
  • We are a family of meat eaters. Meat features highly on our nice things to eat roster. Particularly beef that is pink in the middle.
  • I am not going to prepare separate vegetarian meals for him. I already have to make about three breakfasts before one is eaten, packed lunches, a dinner that can be made fast, that suits kids, that I want to eat and that can hang about for when husband gets back. On top of this I prepare about a billion snacks a day plus puddings. I am NOT going to be making a special vegetarian meal.
  • However, I am now going to be concerned about whether he's getting enough protein and just know that I am going to have to start looking into quorn sausages and nut roasts and a range of other hideous things.
  • Because somehow our son - who is likely to be well in excess of 6 foot tall and strapping - just isn't going to fit the physical profile of a vegetarian.

I blame his over-sensitive nature for it. I read an article this weekend about hyper sensitive children who are prone to vegetarianism because they can't reconcile eating the little animals they enjoy petting at the farm. Fine. Then how come my son delights in pulling the legs off spiders, smooshing snails, squashing caterpillars and whaaa-ing ants (that's where you put your face really close to the ground and yell whaaa and see if you can get the ant to stop in its tracks. Frankly, most of them don't seem to give a shit from what I've seen)? So I don't really see the hyper-sensitivity coming into play that much. Maybe I should serve him snails and see if he goes for those?

This same child tried to kill himself yesterday. Not kidding. It was one of those heart in mouth, feel sick and dizzy afterwards type incidents. While testing the chicken for doneness, I put my metal meat thermometer on the counter. When I turned around, my son had the metal thermometer and had inserted it into the electric plug socket and was jiggling it violently. Thank God - and I mean that with all sincerity - that the switch was off. It's normally on as his younger brother enjoys flicking it on to annoy me. I aged visibly. No anti-wrinkle, gravity defying, serum plumping, beauty flashbalming creams can ever help repair the damage young children can do in an instant.

Anyway, he managed to not electrocute himself but still presents me with his new found vegetarianism issue. It's a bit of a problem as he's not really a fan of fruit either. We went collecting blackberries yesterday (I have the black fingers to show for it). He refused to try any of them and declared that the apple and blackberry jam that I made (which I am immensely proud of) looked "DISGUSTING!"

What all of this tells me, is that no matter how many hours you spend lovingly peeling, chopping, steaming, pureeing, and freezing little cubes of food for your baby all with the intention of exposing them to the taste of real food so that they're not fussy, makes not a jot of difference. I might as well have fed them Gregg's sausage rolls and Iron Bru from birth given their current food preferences. I guess it's baked beans on white bread here on in...


katyboo1 said...

You'll be glad to know that baked beans are full of protein!

Entire abbatoir loads of sympathy with you there. Children and food is just a hellish nightmare of epic proportions.

Anonymous said...

Massive sympathy for you from me - I have the experience of the "rule of six" - this means both children will only eat a maximum of six food items. You discover this when you celebrate that your child now eats tomatoes and then find out that they will no longer eat cheese! It's rotational - six items only - no more!