How social media can cure a fussy eater
We’ve been very lucky with all our children in so many ways, but especially when it comes to food. They are all good eaters, and family dinners usually run smooth. Sure, we’ve had our moments when the World Food Wars have included attrition warfare tactics where the wrong side wins, but those are few and far between.
To spice things up*, we’ve also had extended periods of having to cater for my food allergies, which wipes out 23 essential ingredients, and then on top of that, daughter #2 who was off dairy for 2 years, the irony being that dairy was the one thing that I could eat.
So, during those golden years, one single dinner could see a pot of something tasty for 3 people, a separate dairy-free pot, and a pot for me without my allergens but with dairy. Lucky the Swedish Husband loves to cook!
But enter child #3. A rather fussy eater; a proudly determined picky eater. Fruit and most veg, no problems but in certain combinations or cooking temperatures, it could be a flat out ‘nup’. Imagine, the sweet, goldilocks look of Shirley Temple, but with a will of steel that lies beneath.
On some occasions, when the stars were not aligned, put anything other than an Ikea meatball on her plate, and there could be trouble. God forbid if Grandma tries to sneak in a bit of nutrient-dense carrot into her spaghetti bolognese. And God forbit if Grandma tries again, but this time cuts up the carrot into even smaller, more discreet pieces. IT. JUST. AINT. GONNA. FLY.
Carbonara, fish fingers, korv stroganoff, at least if anything, she’s consistent. So, image my surprise, when I stumbled upon her daycare’s Instagram account, direct from their ecological certified canteen/restaurant equip with a chef and two sous chef. A visual display of foods from around the world, an enticing culinary journey of michelin star delights and heights.
Well well. What have we here, child #3? Poached (sustainably-sourced) cod served with a light white wine sauce, potato, and summer cabbage all drizzled in butter and dill. Wait what????? Penne served with organic tomato sauce, crumbled goat cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds and parsley. What the? Soup of the day: Creamy tomato with cumin and roast garlic topped off with crème fraiche, coriander and a freshly baked baguette. Not quite the vegemite sandwiches I gew up on.
I was dumbfounded! 1) at the quality/diversity of the food for kids under six; 2) did they take bookings on the weekend? and, 3) did Marigold actually eat anything whilst at daycare?
“Oh yes she does, she eats pretty much everything and sometimes takes seconds,’ I was informed. BUSTED GOLDILOCKS, BUSTED. Turns out, our fussy eater is a secret foodie with a penchant for whisked white sauce.
Anyone up for Poached haddock serve with cucumber, peas and butter and dill, with a side of potato with whisked white sauce and lemon OR Soup of the day: Organic roast cauliflower with white beans served with a dash of olive oil, chives and freshly baked baguette????
So what’s good enough at daycare, is good enough at home. Your I’m not eating a cooked carrot days are over, my dear girl. Bring out the soy sauce, you’re eating everything; mummy’s seen what you eat at daycare!
So from then on, we’ve actively tried to minimize the variations-on-a-theme our dinners usually take. To minimize the washing up, prep time and fuss, and to maximize the we’ll all be eating the same thing concept. And with all the girls a little older, we decided it was high time to make dinners a little more adventurous. JUST LIKE DAYCARE.
*no nightshades please.