When my brothers were little, I’d cut a hole in a piece of bread with a biscuit cutter and drop an egg in the middle. I fried the bread and eggs in butter and I had happy brothers. When they were a little older, I took them to Denny’s every Saturday morning for an egg breakfast that was arranged in a happy face with bacon as the smile. Now really, who doesn’t smile at bacon?
I hear people saying that their kids “won’t” eat all sorts of things. I tend to think they must not be going about it right. For instance, lots of kids wouldn’t choose carrots and parsnips, but if you cook them in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, what kid wouldn’t eat parsnips? They’re better than candy. I started adding apples and raisins, and carrots and parsnips became one of my brothers’ favorites. Anything else you want to try in the pot?
Broccoli? No problem. Cheese sauce. Kids will eat almost anything with cheese sauce. Sometimes I skipped the cheese sauce and gave them a lemon wedge with the broccoli instead. I don’t know why kids like lemons, but they do. They screw up their faces and act like they’ve bitten into a hot pepper, but they keep going back to it like a deer at a salt lick.
I don’t think I harmed my brothers by feeding them too much broccoli. They’re tall and healthy, and I’ve seen them eat vegetables without sugar. Sometimes you’ve got to show kids that good food tastes better than junk food.
When my niece was little, she had a very limited diet. She had a lot of rules about what she would and wouldn’t eat. I said that she didn’t need to like everything, but she ought to try everything so she could decide for herself whether or not she liked it. She initially acted like I was trying to poison her, but after a while she started catching on that trying food was fun and that she liked a lot of things.
I fed a friend pickled beets once, and she acted like a 2-yr-old being force-fed pureed Brussels sprouts. I told her the same as I told my niece, “You don’t have to like it, but you do have to try it”. Wouldn’t you know it, once my friend actually tried pickled beets she liked them as I shook my head in wonderment about how some people can be so afraid of a vegetable.
Sometimes I wonder about things like this. Maybe it’s just my nature to explore, and food is just one more unknown to discover? Sometimes I think that I was taught to explore in the same ways I taught my niece. My mom liked to try new things in the produce aisle at the grocery store, and Dad was forever reading Euell Gibbons books about what to eat in the woods. How do you know what you like without trying it?
I had a rare day off today and spent it playing in PhotoShop. I probably wouldn’t have thought to do this piece of art from the beginning, but by being willing to experiment, I ended up with something for “egg”. Maybe someone else might say that I wasted my day, but that’s like saying none of us should eat carrots because you don’t like carrots.
Creativity is an exploration. Let loose, have fun, add cheese sauce!