How can I be so lucky/unlucky to have one toddler who will eat anything - blackberries, butternut squash, broad beans, you name it - and another who is suspicious of anything bright-coloured? The Tank appears to have her father's hearty appetite, whilst Magpie thinks new foods are part of some cruel maternal conspiracy.
She will eat most meat, fish and types of bread, and will happily munch her way through a medley of fruit as long as I taste each piece first (if the watermelon/pineapple/mango doesn't posion me, it won't poison her). This reminds me of having to taste my own breast milk at an airport (if I drink it, I can't be smuggling it onto a plane to blow people up). This was an awkward scenario. Especially as the security guard asked my hired help to drink it before I told him it was mine.
But I digress. So while Magpie is fine with fruit, vegetables are another matter. Occasionally she will eat a few peas laid out in front of her, but only if they are full-sized and not petit pois which would be my preference. If they are the diminutive version, Magpie will 'ping' them across the room like bogies stuck to fingers. Having one twin who will eat tenderstem broccoli in all its floral glory is pointless if the other one won't. I am not, I repeat, I am not, a short-order cook and will not serve different meals at two minutes’ notice.
If it's a 'cleaner day,' I will allow one of our dogs to come in and hoover up Magpie's vegetable rejects. This is because every time I offer her something suspiciously green, it usually ends up on the floor. I get tired of being on my hands and knees, and anyway the dogs can do the job standing. But while I remind myself that dogs are omnivores, I would rather that my daughter improve her five-a-day intake. The dogs get quite enough greens in the shape of Big Daddy’s ornamental grasses.
I have a finger food book that includes a recipe for lentil croquettes. I would rather pay somebody than make them myself and, shock horror, often do. This delegation of culinary responsibility is unaffordable (my lentil croquette creator, who does a few hours a week, is a brilliant ad hoc nanny who just happens to be a trained chef). Aren't I doing what's best for my girls? After all, the nanny/chef is creating something delicious that would otherwise be inedible.
Why oh why am I so lazy about cooking? My mother is the same.
1. She doesn't eat during the day.
2. She can afford to eat out every night.
We manage this about once a month.
I probably don’t cook because Big Daddy does, simple as that. And he likes it. Now he just needs to enjoy cooking for toddlers.
Any advice on Extreme Vegetable Aversion welcome.