Thursday, June 7, 2012

7.6.12 - It's a matter of taste

For years, the directive with homemade baby food was to keep it simple - no spices, salt, really exotic foods, either. There's a myriad of articles available for anyone looking which subscribe to several different schools of thought on the issue. I initially, on the advice of nurses, kept to the KISS method but my perspective has now radically changed, highly geared towards taste and lots of it, simply because the logic works: why would anyone eat something that doesn't taste good?

Like many mums out there, I enjoy the "hot lunch" service provided by my son's daycare (as opposed to having to send food with him) and as such, I just have to accept that whatever they are giving him, he eats. But lately I'm not so sure. Usually I get reports about him being the biggest eater in the group, but for the past few days they've told me his appetite has waned (= they're also telling me he must be sick again. It's become an ignorable norm.) Here's the thing though; he eats just fine at home, with the gargantuan appetite they've always raved about. 

Food for thought.

A few days ago, after another report of poor-ish eating, I decided to give him dinner a tad earlier than usual assuming he must be hungry. Actually, I was sure he was hungry, because he wolfed down a cracker with lightning speed and looked around for more, devastated when he didn't find it. My husband went to warm up some plain sausages for him and also took out the tuna and veggie patties I had made for our dinner. They were packed with dill and parsley and a noticeable hint of pepper. I started nibbling on one, cold, and my son reached out for it so I thought I'd give him a taste, what's the harm? Harm indeed. He DEVOURED four of them. And this is a kid who likes to rub his food in his hair for good measure before it goes in his mouth. He'd never eaten so cleanly in his life. Light bulb moment: junior has a palate I've not been giving enough attention to, and is justifiably pissed as a result. 

Makes sense. Issue solved! Kinda. 

My son likes taste. Good for him! I'm really happy to encourage this and to stop making him "separate" food because he clearly just wants good food with lots of flavor, like mummy and daddy eat. How then exactly do I break this to my daycare provider without hurting her feelings? She's obviously making food for all of the kids, which I presume is "bland" because that is what most kids prefer, and she's not running a bloody restaurant. So I'm a little stuck, because if I send food along it says a) he doesn't like, and perhaps I don't trust, her cooking and b) I have more time on my hands than one would think considering I'm working full time. Nope. Sending food with him isn't a solution. Besides, I pay for this service; I pay a lot for it, so I should enjoy it. But he's not eating well at lunch. Crap. 

What to do?

Without a doubt, being a parent presents you with challenges you never knew were there, insights you never knew you could have and dilemmas which force you to weigh up facts in a way you never did before. Right now, I'm going to ride this wave and see where it goes. I'm not going to send him to daycare with a packed lunch. I will continue to develop his palate at home and teach him how to appreciate food, in all forms, spiced, flavored, plain or otherwise. This episode has reminded me once again, like kashrut, vegetarianism and several other food choices I make, to stop and appreciate the bounty presented to me and to be thankful for it. There will always be things we like and don't like and we learn to deal with them all, in our own time and way. It's simply a matter of taste.

No comments:

Post a Comment