There are fussy eaters and then there are FUSSY EATERS. My daughter is off the scale when it comes to fussiness and this has led to years of worry, frustration, tears (mine and hers) and wine drinking (mine not hers). If your child is also a FUSSY EATER then you will likely recognise all of the following:
1 You spend a large part of your day boiling pasta
Beige food is always a winner. Colourful food is not well received. Unless it’s tomato ketchup of course.
2 Bread is the answer to everything
Unless you have the actual audacity to add butter and a filling to it, therefore attempting to create a vile and evil object with one terrifying purpose: the torture of your child (this is also known as a sandwich).
3 You’re used to the confused look you get from the staff at McDonalds when you ask for a burger without the burger
‘Yes, you heard right, just the bun’.
4 When someone starts telling you they know a recipe ‘all kids will love’, you stop them mid-sentence
Does this wonder recipe have a sauce? It does? Then you are WRONG my friend.
5 You’ve had a major breakdown at the kitchen table at least once
In our house, this incident is referred to as ‘tuna-pasta-gate’ and we can laugh about it now (honest).
6 You do a Mexican wave with your partner, the baby, the cat and the goldfish when your child tries something new and doesn’t spit it out in disgust
7 When your child proclaims that a meal you made ‘tastes good’, you consider applying for Masterchef
8 The most well-fed person in your house is the kitchen bin
9 You promised yourself (and your mother-in-law) that you would never cook different meals for different family members
Because, according to MIL in her rose-tinted haze of perfection, her seven children diligently ate whatever they were given without one word of complaint. She can’t understand where you went wrong (but she’ll damn well try).
In any case, you end up cooking three different dishes at every mealtime anyway – just for an easy life.
10 Chips count as one of your child’s Five-A-Day
Potatoes are indeed vegetables after all.
11 You’ve eaten out at the same restaurant since your child started weaning
You never need to look at the menu, and you as you step in the door the chef has already started cooking your meals.
12 You dread going on play-dates when the host has offered to make lunch or tea
Before attending said play date, the host makes suggestions as to what she could cook for the kids. After the 23rd ‘No she won’t eat that,’ you settle on pizza.
In the end this is rejected by your child anyway because ‘the cheese tastes weird’. Your child then informs the host that her food is ‘disgusting’. You realise that you will never be invited over there again.
13 You are at a loss to understand why school baked beans are happily accepted, yet Heinz (or any other brand available to you at home) are not
What the hell are they putting in their beans and where can I get some?
14 You smile and nod when another mum brags about how little Toby eats ‘anything and everything placed in front of him’
But really, you just want to punch her in the face.
15 In the end, you don’t care what they eat as long as they eat it
16 You stress, worry and berate yourself for years over your child’s limited diet
Then one day you remember Sarah from school who ate nothing but beans-on-toast and pizza for seven years. She’s still alive and kicking. Reassuring.
From that minute onwards, whenever your child declares that your cooking is revolting you just shrug and pour another glass of wine.
This is where I’m at right now.
Fussy Eater 1