In a random stroke of my luck, my kid with the celiac will eat anything. She thinks fruit is a treat and swallows snap peas like they’re jelly beans. Then I have this other kid. He only eats white foods. I thought it was a phase, but we’re about a year into it and I’m realizing this is just his thing. I honestly don’t know how he’s grown so tall without a fruit or vegetable touching his lips, ever. It’s true for awhile I could get a Jamba Juice down him so he at least got some carrots and oranges along with the sugar load. And for a brief shining moment he was very into “green french fries” which was broccoli or avocado in disguise. But this kid just doubled down on his veggie hate and now he won’t even consider something fruit or vegetable related. Worse yet, he’s one year smarter and now he KNOWS what a fruit or vegetable is and can’t even be tricked with “nature’s candy.” Damn it!
I have now gone into full-on sneaky chef mode because I would hate for him to get scurvy. What could go wrong?
Oh, just a shit ton.
Since my own mother got around my fruit and vegetable avoidance by serving me raw carrots every night, I decided that we would find the one fruit or vegetable this kid would tolerate, then serve it to him non-stop. And how could he resist the fruit and vegetable porn of the Whole Foods produce section? I planned a very special mommy and me trip the market and sprang it on him right before I lifted him into the cart.
“All of this could be yours,” I explained, “You can have anything you want—in this section.” He took a quick scan and said, “No, thank you.” Sure he paused on the hairy coconut shell, and seemed almost interested when I showed him the shelled coconut meat and explained how they were the same thing, and wasn’t that amazing? But he wouldn’t bite. Literally. And then he declared the baby bananas “cute” and I got excited again. Until he added, “But I don’t want to eat them.” I get it. I feel the same way about rabbits. I finally got out of the store with fruit gummys and considered it a win’ish. But it’s not. I know it’s not.
Still, I bought some zucchini and made some delicious gluten-free sneaky vegetable options. Did my kid eat any of them? No. But maybe you’ll have better luck. First up, was this zucchini hummus I made from Jennifer Perillo’s new and beautiful book, “Homemade with Love.” I thought I was going to capture him actually eating vegetables here –
I wasn’t about to give up on zucchini though, so I pulled out my old standby of gluten-free zucchini muffins which both kids used to chow down on like there’s no tomorrow. What a difference a year-and-a-half makes. My son FOUND THE GREEN STUFF. Damn it. What is this kid’s problem? Sure, when I was his age I was able to identify an onion in any savory dish and gasp like someone slipped in cyanide to my potatoes au gratin, but I did not think that particular trait was hereditary.
These very specific sneaky moments of “Operation Anti-Scurvy” were also interspersed with big speeches about being a big boy, and how “all 4-year-olds eat vegetables and fruit,” along with pleading to just eat one grape. This kid won’t even eat red sauce on his gluten-free pasta so I can sneak in some goods there! What the holy hell, people.
Thinking back on my own childhood aversions to anything good for me, I realize there’s nothing I can do. Okay, so maybe I did pass on this picky eater thing to him, and he too will be in his 20s before he realizes that vegetables can be totes delicious. And hey, I grew to be quite tall and relatively healthy. Not counting this whole celiac thing, which I’m pretty sure cannot be as a result of my hatred for cooked fruit (which I still have). So I’m thinking I’m going to have to start counting french fries as a vegetable and plying him with vitamins. Unless one of you lovely peeps out there has a better suggestion. Please tell me you do.