One of the more classic problems parents run up against when their child reaches the toddling years is finicky food fetishes: the kid likes this, and hates that, until tomorrow, when they hate this and love that. Anything leafy, or fresh, or plated so that it touches an adjacent foodstuff, is to be loathed like poison, while super-processed gunk that borders on being actual poison can be stuffed down by the fistful.
And so it is with the Bean. Until a month or two ago, we were the happy parents of a little girl who only turned her nose up at asparagus. Now we have entered the world of All Brown Food, All The Time (Except Raspberries and Strawberries). The list of acceptable edibles has diminished to:
- Peanut butter
- Bread (preferably “totst”, or toast)
- Yogurt (but only PLAIN yogurt, without bits)
- Cream cheese
- Potatoes (including crisps)
- Not-cream cheese
- Orange juice
- Cookies and pastries
Until last week this list would also have included dried dates and bananas. She was eating dates by the cartload and could polish off an entire banana in 28.3 seconds.
Then this happened:
Trev: Are you hungry?
Trev: Would you like some food?
Trev: How about some yogurt?
Trev: [checking the fridge] Oooh, there isn’t any yogurt, I’m afraid. What about a banana?
Bean: [silence, and a wrinkled nose]
That’s the tell, you see: the only way to find out if she wants something is to ask. If she repeats the word, she’s amenable to it. If she looks at you like you’ve just asked her to find a derivative using the quotient rule, forget it. Sometimes, when she’s feeling crotchety, she even screams and runs in the other direction. Which only makes her hungrier.
We’ve identified a few workarounds: she will eat spinach, for instance, if it’s finely chopped up and embedded in scrambled egg, and yesterday she polished off a quesadilla without picking out the green onion I’d put in it. She will also eat soup that has been blended to a uniform color and consistency, even if said color is green.
So I suppose we manage to get a nutritionally-balanced diet down her neck if you look at it from a weekly basis rather than a daily one. Still: I wish we could buy yogurt in bulk. We went through 5 16-oz. containers of it last week. I think I had one bowl.