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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Six Deadly Sins (Parents Commit in the Kitchen)

Here’s my take on the Six Deadly Sins of Parents Commit in the Kitchen (according to the New York Times). Yes, I know this does not have anything to do with children's books, but for some reason I was moved to comment:

1. Sending the kids out of the kitchen = Sure, in a perfect world, kids would be eager kitchen helpers, learning to dice and fold and learning to try new foods in the process. But I don’t live there. In my world, my kids use their kitchen time to make potions involving milk, orange juice, coffee and food coloring. Throwing my kids out of the kitchen most (though not all) of the time ensures that most (though not all) of our meals actually get cooked and don’t turn artificially blue and curdled in the process. Guess that makes me a bad person. Oh well.

2. Pressuring them to take a bite = Conceptually, I agree that this is bad, too. But who’s going to cast the first stone? Not someone who, say, has gone to the trouble of making jambalaya from scratch with no seasonings except salt because of her kids’ stupid bland palates and then has had to endure them rejecting it anyway because the ingredients – all of which are things they like - are mixed together. Am I – I mean, is she - actually going to say, “No problem. More for me”? As IF!

3. Keeping the “good stuff” out of reach = Oh please. The good stuff isn’t for them. It’s for me and Daddy, when we collapse at the end of a long day and need to take the edge off. Oh, wait, the Times means ice cream and cookies? That’s what they’re for, too.

4. Dieting in front of your kids = Yeah, this one is actually pretty bad.

5. Serving boring vegetables = Sure, ranch dressing may work for carrots and butter may work for, well, almost everything, but no amount of “dressing up” is going to convince a kid to eat a vegetable he hates. My brother’s favorite vegetable as a child was hollandaise, because my mother served it with artichokes. Did it get him to love artichokes? Noooooo, it got him to love hollandaise. Still does.

6. Giving up too soon = In my experience, all the “rule of fifteen” ensures is that by the fifteenth time you serve an exotic dish, your child will recognize the food and know how to correctly pronounce its name when she rejects it as she did the fourteen times before. She will continue to pronounce it well while rejecting it the next fifteen more times, and the fifteen times after that, or however many times you continue wasting your time and money cooking exotic foods for these freaking ingrates!

By the way, the jambalaya - doused liberally with green tabasco sauce - was delicious. I know because I ate if for three nights in a row. As was the pasta with pesto that 50% of my kids snubbed. What can I say? Hope that they will grow more taste buds springs eternal!

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