Playing with food
I thought this day would never come â€“ my two-year-old leaning from his high chair with arms outstretched, pleading â€œboccoli, boccoliâ€ as I walked to the dinner table with a plate of steaming asparagus.
Now, I donâ€™t fuss over details. The idea is that Aristu is enthusiastic about vegetables, may it be broccoli, asparagus or green beans, is good news. Thatâ€™s a big change from a few months ago when he would spit out anything that had vegetables in it, even though I tried to hide it in all kinds of food.
Now, heâ€™ll eat as many florets of broccoli as I give him â€” OK, Iâ€™m pushing it; letâ€™s say three or four â€” though he doesnâ€™t eat the stem. But weâ€™ll get there at some point. The other day he examined a string bean for a few seconds before tentatively putting it in his mouth.
What does bother me, though, is that he seems to like his vegetables after giving them a bath. We usually give him a plastic cup with a little bit of water because he seems to want to graduate from his sippy cup. These days he likes to slip the broccoli/beans/asparagus into the cup, swirl it around, take it out dripping, suck on it and then chew it. The other day he gave the same treatment to a chicken nugget. As my husband and I and our oldest â€“ heâ€™s 12 â€“ gagged with disgust, Aristu wasnâ€™t bothered at all. He sucked on the chicken nugget and then wolfed it down.
I donâ€™t like the idea of his playing with food while eating dinner. I know that at day care he sits before a television while his teacher feeds him. I disapprove of that, but I donâ€™t insist she stop doing that because, otherwise, it would take her forever to feed him. I know, it takes him 45 minutes to eat when heâ€™s home.
But Iâ€™m going to let him play with his food as long as he eats it at the end. If youâ€™re the parent of a fussy eater, youâ€™ll understand. It doesnâ€™t matter how he eats it, as long as he eats it. Right?