Alex and Food

Alex has an interesting relationship with food.

Yucky vs Yummy

Like most toddlers, he’s neophobic. No, that doesn’t mean Keanu Reeves in a black trenchcoat appears in his nightmares. He just doesn’t like new foods.

He has a clear understanding that there are foods one likes (yummy foods) and foods one doesn’t (yucky foods). As we often discuss at the dinner table, “Mama say yum, broccoli. Dada and Alex say yuck, broccoli.” He was discussing the different kinds of food with me yesterday, revealing his understanding of jobs in the process.

“When I’m a little older, I have a new job and you have a new job and Dada have a new job and we make big monies and we buy all the yummy food and we buy all the yucky food and put it in the bin.”

Real Food

Also like most toddlers, Alex loves his sweets. We’ve been drilling it into him that you can’t have dessert until you’ve eaten some “real food” (amount to be determined by the Court of the Parents, from which there is no appeal). We first introduced this in a restaurant, where he was angling to have a chocolate sundae for dinner. We explained that he had to have some peas, fish and chips first, because that was real food.

So one day last week, he brought home a square of the cake they’d made in nursery. He didn’t eat it after dinner (can’t recall why), but the next day I packed it, along with some sandwiches and fruit, for lunch while we were out geocaching. We stopped for lunch and I opened the box. He looked inside, inventoried the contents, and gave me a testing glance. “Sandwiches are real food,” he said. Translation: I eat the sandwich and I can have some cake, right? I agreed that sandwiches were real food, and he tucked in with enthusiasm, keeping an eye on the cake as he ate.

Even funnier was the pantomime he went through yesterday. I had bought a new pair of boots, and had just taken them off in the living room. He put his feet into them (a comic sight) and declared he was off to the shops to get some sweeties. He was halfway across the floor toward the dining room table (the shop in this game) when a thought struck him.

He turned around quickly and rushed back to the living room. Kicking off the boots, he turned to the TV table. “Real food,” he said, and started picking up handfuls of air and stuffing them in his mouth. “Eat, eat, eat…” Then he put the boots on and went to the shop for sweeties.

3 thoughts on “Alex and Food”

  1. Hi Abi,
    Got a laugh out of “yucky and yummy” foods. When our daughter was small (highchair size) she was faced with a small serving of carrots which she refused to eat. One way or another a “bite” worked its way into her mouth but she refused to swallow it. Her daddy, equally determined to “win this one”, sat in front of her and told her there they would both stay until she swallowed. I gave up early on. Atleast an hour passed Suzanne didn’t swallow and finally daddy caved. She claims that the experience marked her for life and that is why she won’t eat vegetables. She seems to be blind to the obvious that when veggies are passed and she says “they’re green no thanks” and hands them on, that the source of her trauma was colored orange. Wish I’d been wiser but I think I was still in my teens.

  2. Good story, Rosemary.

    Martin was funny about vegetables when he was younger, too. (Still is, though not usually as strongly as with broccoli.) When he finished high school, he made a bet with his dad that he could go through university without eating vegetables at all.

    Then in his second year he moved into a vegetarian flat…

  3. I have got to come and have a conversation with Alex… I remember last time the sentences were almost there, though sometimes not understandable (to me, I will hasten to add).

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