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More Mango?

June 4, 2010

My son will not eat delicious, fresh from the tree, cooled in the fridge, juicy, rich, perfectly ripe mangos.

Now I  understand that while we have much in common (such as a love of dirty feet, passion for reading, inability to dance rhythmically, enthusiasm for licking salt water off our lips, and fondness for soft pillows) we are parting ways on some important issues. Namely food.

To me, and most humans eating is a source of pleasure. It tastes good. Is fun to make. Looks nice (much of the time). However, I believe our child currently would be a-ok with a feeding tube, and bypass the whole ordeal of chewing.

While I do try to take into account our Little Chum’s tastes when planning menus, I am 100% unwilling to become a short order chef serving up solely yogurt, maple syrup, nutella, whole milk (all things that generally pass muster) on a daily basis. So I get creative and try to incorporate what we are eating into something disguised as Jarah proof, subterfuge is a large part of the mothering job description apparently.

Exhibit A: Poking kale around his tray chanting “bye bye,” like it’s a Buddhist mantra but gulping it down if combined with milk, banana and a little milk. Or  Exhibit B: Chowing down pea and lentil soup while rejecting lentils with rice. Or the startling Exhibit C: Licking up blended mango while crinkling his nose at a fresh slice. It’s this blending that strikes me. Apparently chewing is too much of a pain for a toddler who wants to sit, suck it down (literally) and get on with it.

Our pediatrician provided some sage advice that has really resonated with me. Parents choose what children eat, and children choose if they eat it. So I will keep making reasonably nutritious choices (don’t get me wrong, the kid gets to lick down banana ice cream pretty frequently) and eventually something will resonant. Someday I’ll hopefully hear the magical 4 words “Please pass the greens,” or at the very least, “More mango?”

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