Thursday, October 09, 2008

Molecularly Gastronomic Toddlers

My initial reaction to this Sara Dickerman article in Slate was total relief. I'm not the only one who desperately wants her kid to love food - or, at the very least, eat something vaguely unprocessed and vegetable-related - but who is encountering some, um, difficulties.

For as much guac and hummus and chicken saag as Dixon will eat off my plate, his everyday menu is embarrassingly heavy on the chicken fingers and pizza...and light on the veggies.

Dickerman tried to overcome a similar veg-hesitancy in her 4-year old son ("The Critic") by every means possible. Her latest effort involved a $200 molecular gastronomy toolkit put together by Ferran Adria, the thought being that maybe crazy texture would trump vegetable taste, and The Critic would be won over to the dark (and leafy green) side.

After my initial fascination (thinking "I am totally asking for this for Christmas!"), reality set in and I remembered that there's no way I'd spend time making tomato spheres and carrot "air" just to get Dixon to ingest a fraction of a serving of veggies.

Which suggests that maybe Dixon's reluctance has a little something to do with my laziness. Hmmm. I might choose not to think about that, either.


theminx said...

Don't you worry that Dixon may be learning that he doesn't have to eat stuff like vegetables because there's always chicken fingers and pizza available?

Have you tried canned veg rather than fresh ones? Or overcooking some things? When I was a kid I much preferred mushy vegetables, and so did my brother.

Kit Pollard said...

I am afraid of that...but considering that he's 2 and not really open to reason, I'm not totally sure what to do at this point. He's awfully good at detecting stuff he doesn't like. The other night I made him pizza with a veggie-heavy sauce and he all but rejected it.

I do have some canned vegetables in the pantry, with that in mind. I think maybe if they're mushy and somehow presented in cute shapes, he might be more open to them...


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