Thursday, July 21, 2005

Battle of the (non) Bulge

I love food. My dad likes to say that my mom's side of the family "eats for sport," and I definitely take after that side. I truly enjoy a good meal, a good drink, a good dessert. I take pleasure in taste and texture, which is why I now have 50 freaking post-partum pounds to lose... but that's a whole new ball of wax.

So how is it that most of the toddlers I know, Hazel included, survive on air? How is that possible? How (and why?) could you pass up a free, hot meal that someone else has made for you, out of the freshest organic ingredients that she could find, time and time again? And why don't I have that kind of willpower??

Once, at a kid's birthday party I attended, way before I had kids, I saw a little girl, probably about Hazel's age now, drop a dixie cup full of goldfish crackers on the floor. Without hesitation, the little girl scooped them all back up into her grubby little cup, and kept on munching. I was disgusted. "Gross!" I thought. "When I have kids, I'm never letting them eat goldfish crackers, much less eat them off the floor!"

Predictably, I would now rejoice if Hazel ate that much. Hell, I'd pour more goldfish on the floor in hopes that she'd eat those too - then offer her dessert! As it stands now, unless what I'm offering Hazel is something she truly loves to eat, she's got no interest in it. She can live on one meal a day if she has to, and she'd rather trade that one measly meal in for a cup of rice milk, no contest. Her list of stand-by, tried-and-true foods that she'll always eat, is always shrinking. This month it's:

- Chicken nuggets
- Pizza
- Quiche (I know, quiche?)
- Cheese (highly favored are smoked Gouda and french Feta)
- Fruit (not oranges, though)
- Peas
- Rice w/ beans
- Tofu
- Green olives
- Mac n' cheese

It's such a drag to eat with Hazel, because she doesn't enjoy the process. I have to play Food Police, corraling her back into her chair every two minutes, reminding her not to take such big bites that she gags and spits everything out, enforcing the "you can't just have milk for breakfast/lunch/dinner" rule. Lately, I've taken to just leaving a plate of reasonably healthy snacks out on her kiddie table in the living room, and just letting her graze on it throughout the morning or afternoon. It's just such a hassle to force her to sit at the table like a human being. I'd rather not deal with it until dinner time, when the whole family can be together, and I can make Mike be Food Police.

The fact that Hazel does not eat shows on her body. The last time she hopped on the scale, she weighed in at a whopping 26 pounds, which means she's gained one pound in one year, whilst she grew almost 3 inches. The shorts that she wore last summer are laughably short on her, but they still fall off of her non-existant butt. What child of mine has no butt?! It's absurd. I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm her real mother.

I like to think that the day is coming when she'll eat the chocolate chip cookies she makes with me (what kid doesn't like chocolate??), or ask for a second helping of... anything. But more likely, I think, she'll take after her Uncle Kyle, who, at the age of 20, has never tried a hamburger. Sigh. Maybe I'll have more luck with Violet.


Blogger jen said...

i could be totally frustrated by the fox thing but i have to pick my battles now. i truly never thought i would have a kid that lived on processed food. the day he eats a piece of meat that isn't breaded or fried will be great! i especially hate how if thinks something doesn't "look" right, he won't even try it. his eyes decide way before his mouth what is and isn't acceptable.
actually the other night i made seared ahi with curry oil (so yummy and healthy fyi if you want the recipe)
and for whatever reason he decided he wanted to try it. ate a small bite and said mmmm . . . he didn't want a second piece but he swallowed it. i was stunned.
one of my friends kids, who is almost two eats whatever she makes for dinner, lasagna, chicken breasts, steak, fish, she eats adult food!
the day i tell fox that he no longer gets a special meal will be a huge fight.
i'm not willing to have that fight yet. he would just starve.

8:19 PM  
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