I grew up singing along with my mom and dad, otherwise known as the Hippy and the Blue Grass Aficionado respectively, so my childhood repertoire deviated from the Solid Gold hit list. However, it allowed me to sing along with Arlo Gutherie on more than one occasion: “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant. You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant. Walk right in it’s around the back, Just a half a mile from the railroad track, You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant.” It still comes in handy these days when I don my Chief Food Maker hat.
Anyone who cooks for someone else knows a bit of the potential angst such activities can produce. As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t much worse than the proclamation “I’m a picky eater.” You might as well admit to picking and eating your own boogers. Of course, being disdainful of such eaters pretty much guaranteed that my kids were destined to be picky eaters.
Take Oldest for example. He started out a great eater. Of course, if you’ve ever tried Gerber’s sweet potatoes or peaches, it is no stretch to the gastric imagination. Today, he is a nutritionist’s nightmare. There are two things he likes to eat: bread and butter. Add to it milk and yogurt and he has the dairy food group down. To force him to eat other things is to slowly torture the child. And forget really pushing the subject. There are only so many times a parent really wants to watch a child vomit in a dinner plate before the dining experience is permanently tarnished.
Middlest is going to be our vegetarian. She loves all things fruit and veggie. And bacon and ribs. How nice that bacon, nature’s gateway food for vegetarians, is her favorite animal by-product, since I adore it as well.
And Littlest once was our eater extraordinaire but has entered a “picky stage” of magnificent proportions. As in nothing goes in without a fight.
If my kids had their way, there would be three distinct meals made to suit them. Add to it Mister Soandso’s dairy intolerance and my gluten issue and make that five, FIVE, distinct dietary/palette requirements.
But this is no restaurant and I’m no short-order cook. So, sorry. You can’t get whatever thing you want at this mama’s restaurant. You can, however, go make your own damn sandwich or bowl of cereal.