Another post I wrote a few weeks ago and never published…
I mentioned recently that S has a new fascination with cooking. It manifests itself in a variety of ways. Here she is helping me puree food for T.
I do the primary cutting (i.e. I slice the squash and zucchini into medallions), and she uses her plastic knife to cut the medallions in half before I steam them. She also uses a plastic knife to cut cooked carrots. No, her cutting is not necessary to the process of making pureed food. But it is absolutely necessary to the more important processes of (1) encouraging her current area of interest – cooking, (2) contributing to the family in a way that makes her feel proud – you should see her showing T all the food she’s helped make for him, and (3) creating what I consider to be “quality time” in the kitchen…chatting while we both chop vegetables. I’d love to still have her – or any of the kids – asking to work in there with me in 10 years.
As a side note, T is almost 2 and I should have him eating regular veggies now, instead of pureed. We do encourage that. He gets offered regular veggies at every meal. But he doesn’t eat many, and he will take his morning oatmeal with all those veggies you see on the counter blended in. I mean the kid goes through a bag of brussel sprouts, a head of cauliflower, a bunch of broccoli, etc. every month. Honestly, I wish I could get myself or the rest of the family to eat that much good stuff! Still, I know we need to get him to eat a real green bean at some point (or even a pea or corn niblet, for goodness sake…) Any advice is greatly appreciated…
S also helps me make bread (which her dad loves…she is so proud to tell him on the days we make it). And on days when there is no cooking to help with, she often asks if she can make us soup and salad for dinner. She picks “salad” (grass!) out of the yard, washes and spins it in the salad spinner, and puts it aside as dad’s “late night” snack (i.e. he tosses the grass back out into the yard after everyone is asleep, and then of course wakes up raving about how yummy everything was…did I marry the right guy or what?!).
The soup she makes is basically water and anything else I have lying around the kitchen that she can get creative with (I let her put water into a big tupperware, and she adds a few scoops of flour, tears the heel of our bread into the bowl, adds a random fruit or veggie that has gotten over-ripe, puts in the unused parts of foods we’ve had that day (i.e. the green tops of strawberries) and dumps any breakfast leftovers in (whatever eggs E left on her plate and whatever cheerios T didn’t eat).
Check out the disgusting (but creative!) finished product, (which dad chucks into the yard discretely, along with the salad, after all the kids have gone to bed).
Oh wait… the soup is not the finished product… this smile is what we’ve really been working on all morning… check out my girl, so happy with her soup…
E loves the kitchen too, and is extremely eager to participate in the veggie chopping, etc. (i.e. she is absolutely part of the fun!) But S is currently the one who – when given free choice, anything you want with mom time – will ask to plant a garden, chop veggies, make soup, and pick salad. (It actually started in our “school” time, where she would ignore every other activity in favor of the bowl of measuring items that she was allowed to take to the bathroom sink…she would play for half-an-hour with a few measuring cups, some funnels, an eyedropper, a set of measuring spoons and a baster.)
And for those who are curious, no…NONE of this has made her more interested in eating anything. She is just as picky as ever. In fact, although she is very interested in making dinner for everyone else, her absolute favorite treat – the one thing she asks for repeatedly – is to eat out, even though we do that maybe one time (Chick-Fil-A kids night!) during a regular month. My goodness, she was on cloud 9 when Nana visited last week and took her out on several lunch dates and treated us to some fun dinners. (And she comes by it honest…I was on cloud 9 too…thanks, Nana!)
(update: since I wrote this Grammy and Grandpa have also visited and treated all of us to some fun meals…so thank you too, Grammy and Grandpa! More on that visit soon!)
This post has gotten longer than I expected, but there you have one additional thing we were doing last month…making lots and lots of inedible salad and soup!