I am not what you might call a picky eater, safe yes, but not picky. Fish fingers, pizza, sausage, tick. I do vegetables and fruit to the extent that Mummy feels reassured that her healthy cooking has not gone to waste, and I may even be coerced into trying something like beetroot – so long as it comes in the form of a ‘red-velvet’ cupcake (read ‘chocolate with a faint whiff of beetroot’). Apart from that I am about as predictable as a 6-year-old can be.
Imagine my predicament when my younger brother arrives on the scene. Milk, baby-mush, the odd bit of soggy toast; so far so good – I’m still getting all the praise for good eating habits. But a few months later his favourite vegetable is turnip. Not only that, but he likes it in a gratin dish with onions! Suddenly my status as the one to aspire to is diminished. And it doesn’t stop there. A couple of years down the line and my favourite dish at Wagamama’s is still crispy chicken (hold the rice and swap for noodles, no dressing please). What does the Bug order? Chilli Squid. I mean, come on, surely there’s a law against giving stuff like that to a 3-year-old. How on earth am I supposed to compete with that?
Tip for picky eaters – cook with your child
I blame his extra-curricular activities with Mummy. Today they have attended a session at Little Cookies (check out the toddler cooking fun at www.little-cookies.co.uk). Picky eaters, read this and weep. The class seems to turn small people into gastronomic adventurers, such is the thrill of making it themselves and getting a sticker in a special passport if they taste it. The Bug often comes home covered in flour with a bag of biscuits or cakes, so I look forward to my after-school snack on these days. Today I was not so lucky. Today they made Watercress and Lancashire cheese bread, which Mummy took the liberty of serving up for tea. ‘Yummy’ declared the Bug, tucking into this distinctly non-toddler-style dish. I gave him my best secret glare (the one that says ‘you’re going to regret this when Mummy’s not looking’) but to no avail. He cleared his plate triumphantly. I gave up and asked for more baked beans.
Do you have a tip for picky eaters? I’d love you to share it with us.