20 January 2014

"Dear Food Thoughtz:" A Different Kind of Picky-Eating

In today's edition of Dear Food Thoughtz we deal with the worst kind of picky-eaters: raw food enthusiasts and carb haters.  As always, please send all questions and concerns to food.thoughtz@gmail.com

Dear Food Thoughtz

I am the mother of a three year old, which comes with a number of anxieties. Chief among them is that I am going to ruin her life forever by imprinting horrible habits and patterns of thought onto her as she grows up. One of the areas that causes me the most concern is the issue of food. Fortunately, my daughter loves to eat, and to eat widely. However, recently, she has shown a penchant for raw vegetables, to the exclusion of most other things. I know that to any other parent, this preference seems like a dream, but for me it is becoming all too real. I can barely get her to choke down one or two mouthfuls of carbs before she's screaming for another carrot of handful of snap peas. I don't want to cause some sort of life-impacting trauma, but I also can't stomach the thought of raising some sort of raw food asshole.

Mindful mother

Dear Mindful Mother,

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your daughter sounds like the kind of homeschool brat who, at the age of five, during a forced socializing meet-up for other homeschool kids, will proudly proclaim that she’s on a raw diet, that she doesn’t eat gluten, and that she’s “allergic to additives.”  Worse yet, she will probably be “accepting” of other people’s diets, but claim that they are just “not for her.”  And even worse yet, she’ll probably fit right in with the other homeschoolers, and they will remain her only friends for life because when she goes away for university, she will find that she just doesn’t get along with anyone else.  Fortunately, there are a lot worse “raw vegetables” she could be gobbling up than carrots and snap peas.  Unfortunately, I happen to know that she also reaches out her greedy palms for more disgusting vegetables, like kale and probably tomatoes.

But as for what can actually be done about her diet, I’m a bit conflicted.  On one hand, I want to advise you to start forcing potatoes of all kinds on her.  But on the other hand, I know from extensive personal experience that few things in this world are as cruel as forcing unwanted new-foods on a child and it really can be the source of a trauma that will cripple her and her relationship with food for the rest of her life.  The same thing happened to me with a forced salmon pie, and for the first time in my life, my mother finally owned up to it (or at least admitted its possibility) this Christmas.

Unfortunately the best advice I can give you is to simply wait it out.  You might want to try to influence her subconscious by playing sleep hypnosis tapes at night about how delicious carbs are (this might mean recording your own), but hopefully this will be an inevitable realization for her anyway.  If all else fails, relinquish custody to the state of Hungary and they will whip her into shape.  It is my understanding that they take a fairly dictatorial approach to force-feeding pre-school children during rigid lunch routines.

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