Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Picky Eaters . . .

My little brother had not eaten voluntarily in over three years . . .

"Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf."
"All right, I'll get that kid to eat. Where's my screw driver and my plumber's helper? I'll open up his mouth and I'll shove it in."

That of course from the classic Jean Shepherd screenplay (based on his novel), A Christmas Story . . . there is a picky eater in almost every family - if you don't have one, count yourself blessed!

Most picky eaters won't eat their green vegetables, or refuse any protein source outside of chicken nuggets, but in these three books we're dealing with special types of picky eaters.

In Gregory the Terrible Eater, Gregory the goat refuses to eat "traditional" goat fare, like pocket lint, buttons and newspaper - prefering instead toast, and maybe a tall glass of orange juice. His parents are at a loss and eventually consult their family doctor for advice on how to get Gregory to eat a "healthy" goat diet.

Much like Gregory, Little Pea does not like to eat the candy on which peas are meant to feast. Little Pea's favorite delight? Spinach! Which he readily gobbles up, scoffing at stripped candy, red candy, and even polka dotted candies.

Any parent who has ever told their child that broccoli was not a vegetable, but actually a tiny tree, will no doubt enjoy Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli. Monsters love to gobble cars and boulders and especially trees!

Many moms are familiar with the tricks to sneak an extra helping of veggies onto junior's dinner plate by hiding it in other foods - like maccaroni and cheese with peas - but any deft picky eater also knows how to eat around the peas. There are some great, healthy, kid-friendly recipes to try though in The Little Pigs' First Cookbook. Not only is a recipe book with food easy for little hands to help prepare - it's also a story book - taking readers through breakfast, lunch and dinner with the culinary pig brothers. Unfortunately, the Little Pigs are out of print, but there are used copies available on Amazon, and there's a good chance your locally library system will have at least one copy available to loan as well.

And now the Library Lady, herself a reformed picky eater, must go make her own dinner. Bon appetite!

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