Breaking news: kids don't like vegetables! OK, I know this is news to no one except "That One Mom Friend" we all have whose kids love gobbling up kale and peppers and steamed broccoli and just can't understand why people feed their kids "garbage." But when I think about the things my kids have eaten that aren't vegetables, it adds a whole new layer to the mystery. Like... really? You're going to try to eat your toes but you aren't going to try this innocent-looking kernel of corn?
In my family, we take the "don't force foods," approach to meals. So while veggies are offered at every meal, my partner and I do not require them to be eaten... so they aren't. Look, I understand that, in general, vegetables are rarely anyone's favorite foods (all hail delicious, delicious carbs and fats), but there some good ones out there, right? What's not to like about a carrot? According to my daughter, basically everything. "I don't like crunchy." "I don't like cold." "I don't like hot." "I don't like soft." "Orange isn't my favorite color, though." These are all actual excuses I've heard for her not trying the most inoffensive of all the vegetables.
So with that in mind, and because more often than not you need to laugh to keep yourself from crying, here are some of the actual foods and "foods" my kids have eaten when they won't eat a damn salad:
My partner and I couldn't easily bring my son outside between the ages of 9 months and 2.5 years because, as soon as we did, he would make a beeline for the gravel-lined path in our garden and shove rocks in his mouth. When we walked across the yard, far away from the known problem area, he would legit dig for them. You couldn't take your eyes off of him for a second. He was a child obsessed.
You'd think if he was willing to dig something out of the ground and eat it he'd try a potato, but no. Rocks? Obviously. They're delicious. Potatoes and other such tubers? Get behind me, Satan.
This was usually what my son would go for if there were no rocks available. He'd chow down on those things like they were potato chips.
I know what you're thinking: kids put things in their mouth all the time. That doesn't mean they want to eat them. No, he wanted to eat literally anything he could find in our yard. Rocks and woodchips were the big ones, but he'd also chow down on grass, sticks, seeds, acorns. He was like a little hipster forager.
I mean, that's just a right of passage and I honestly can't blame them because I'm 35 and I still get the appeal. (Just look at that delicious looking neon pink "ice cream" cone, you guys. Tell me you wouldn't, in one of your weirder moments, just taste it.)
A Dead Bug
Why? Why?! Look, I'm not food-shaming anyone who happens to eat bugs (a lot of people do and with good reason), but a dead fly that's been lying belly-up on the window sill for God knows how long? Blegh! If you're interested in trying insects I can try to find you something fresh and meant to be eaten, but this is just beyond the pale and cannot be more palatable than a damn green bean.
I'm an adventurous eater. So when I tell you that this candy is one of the most hideous things I've ever put in my mouth, know that I'm drawing from a wide variety of experiences. My kids saw these on some YouTube channel and, apparently, if you're 6 and 3 and see something on YouTube you automatically want it. My son had the kind of reaction you might expect, but my daughter just ate it stone faced because she's a goddamn beast. Even after knowing how gross they are they went back for seconds! And thirds! Until they had tried every flavor!
Can we please get a "food challenge" YouTube channel dedicated to cauliflower?
All kids do this. All of them.
"Not my child!"
I'm sorry, did I stutter? All. Of. Them.
As a former pre-school teacher's aid, I can attest to this. During the winter months, the boogers run free and tiny little tongues rise up to meet them. Regularly.
"Here, sweetie, why don't you true some Brussels sprouts?"
"No! *licks snot-ladden upper lip*"
Ketchup On Literally Anything
My son eats a lot of eggs, which he dips in ketchup, which I get. But then any leftover ketchup gets put on literally anything else he can get his hands on. Toast. Macaroni and cheese. Blueberries. Cantaloupe. A granola bar. Anything. He will put it on literally anything.
That was a terrifying bowel movement, let me just tell you.
Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans
"When they say every flavour, they mean every flavour," Ron warns Harry in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans are straight from the pages of the beloved series and became real when Jelly Belly also realized the marketing potential of "a risk with every mouthful." Flavors include grass, black pepper, earth worm, soap, and vomit. Yes. Vomit. Now, lest you think, "Oh, it's probably just a yummy version of those things," let me assure you that, no, those flavors are hideous and terrible... and my kids think "grass" and "boogie" are simply delightful.
Dear Mr. Bott, please make a carrot flavored bean...
Sour Apple Candy
OK, I know I'm the weirdo here, but I hate sour apple anything and my kids love it and I'm just like, "How is this tastier than zucchini?! It's not! What is wrong with you people?! Zucchini tastes like crunchy, lightly chlorophyll-tainted water. What's to dislike? Sour apple candy tastes like an apple with zero self-respect."
And not just, like, California rolls or tempura rolls. My 3-year-old daughter scarfs down raw fish (salmon is her favorite) like it's going out of style. I know adults who won't eat sushi, but my toddler literally steals it from my plate when she's done with hers.
Will she so much as nibble at the edamame that comes out first? Oh of course not.
The Same Thing Every Goddamn Day
I ask you: how long can one be expected to eat Greek yogurt? Peanut butter and jelly? They eat the same lunch every single day and have for the past, like, three or more years. How is this possible?! I feel like, at that point, you try some kale just to break up the monotony of it all.
Maybe? Just a bite? Please?
Honestly, children, how are you even still alive?
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