All children are fussy. My son loves spicy food but hates anything to do with potato (except crisps, unsurprisingly). Before he was born, I had visions of spending time in the kitchen creating delicious healthy meals that he would enjoy. I would teach him how to cook homemade pasta sauce, risotto, curry, and the perfect roast dinner. I wouldn’t use ready-made packets, and he would get his five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
I tried to live up to that goal, but as any experienced parent knows, it was pretty unrealistic. As his tastes set it became more and more disheartening to hear the words “I don’t like it,” and as he became more mobile it became more difficult to spend so much time in the kitchen without breaking my neck on the several hundred pieces of Duplo he had placed on the floor to show me. So now I sneak ready-made pasta sauces and tins of baked beans into my shopping trolley and hope for the best whilst my food processor and slow cooker collect dust in the cupboard.
Yet still, my son comes up with ever more excuses as to why he can’t eat what he has been given. Some seem fairly straightforward: “I don’t like it.” OK, that’s fine; I’m not going to force you. Some seem a little more contrived, whilst others are just downright frustrating. Here are some of my favourite excuses:
1) He asked for pasta. I gave him pasta. He didn’t want pasta; he wanted rice.
2) There’s sauce on the carrots.
3) There isn’t any sauce.
4) It’s too hot (It’s luke warm at best).
5) It’s too cold (It’s flipping ice cream).
6) He doesn’t want to use a big boy fork.
7) He wants to use a big boy fork.
8) It’s on the red plate and not the orange plate.
9) The banana broke in half.
10) He asked for his sandwich to be cut into triangles and so I did but he wanted squares.
11) He wanted Daddy to cut it up, not Mummy.
12) He wanted toast for breakfast and not the Weetabix he asked for.
13) The apple is green and not red and it has a stalk.
14) There’s a teeny tiny piece of mash potato on the sausage. He hates all forms of potato.
15) I put the sour cream in the fajita instead of on the plate next to the fajita.
I keep telling myself it’s a phase. He will grow out of it. Meanwhile, I look longingly at the colourful pictures in my Annabel Karmel and Mary Berry cookbooks and dream of the day where I cook something that he will say is delicious.