Whether they like it or not.
I remember growing up I was constantly thinking about what I was going to eat. And if we were going somewhere, the only thing on my mind was if there was going to be food there. My best friends were some girls who had just immigrated from Mexico. Their mother cooked. Constantly. As a result, I tried not to leave their house.
I think when we become parents we automatically try to cover the deficiencies in our own childhood. To give them the things we always wanted. And I wanted food. I throw food at my children like you wouldn’t believe. They remain unimpressed. When I plan the menu, I’ll often ask my husband if he has any requests. He’ll say something along the lines of, “Uh…well, uhIdon’tknowhatevahhhh.” And I will freak out. “I am here to cook for you! Do you know what I would do if I had someone to cook for ME? I would comb magazines, there would be extensive lists. I would have demands. Torches would be involved.” But no. Perhaps it is one of those things you don’t notice you have until it’s gone. I remember once last summer when I was sick as a dog and the park next to our house was doing free bag lunches. I literally drove the van up, opened the door, and then passed out next to it in the grass. The children clutched their brown paper bags and cried. The pre-packaged peanut butter jelly sandwiches insulted their intelligence, the string cheese was disgusting, the fruit cups were modified slime, the chocolate milk tasted like mucus. I thought at last, maybe I had done something right. My children knew what food tasted like. And this was not it.
I keep cooking for my children. I want them to grow, I want them to experience and enjoy real food. Sometimes I wonder that if I was less selfish, maybe I just would make them the cheese sandwiches and bean burritos their hearts desire. But no, I’m not. I continue to make them strawberry shortcake from scratch, for breakfast, just so I can hear them cry. Seriously.
M. Baked Eggs
T. Smoothies + Toast
W. Hashbrowns + Soft Boiled Eggs + OJ
F. Greek Yogurt Parfaits
M. Sweet and Sour Tofu + Rice + Steamed Veggies
W. Mushroom Curry + Rice