by EHP on Sunday, February 07, 2010
Children are notoriously picky eaters. Perhaps that is why some parents can’t rave enough about their child’s unusual tastes. “Oh she just loves sashimi.” Or, “we really prefer to snack on dried nori – he just can’t get enough of it!” accompanied by a knowing shake of the head. When did food become an arena for competition? Maybe at the same time it became fashionable for parents to know the provenance of their pork chops and to buy varietal chocolate. But why? And more importantly, what’s a well mannered mother to do about this bragging? Should she disparage the food in question and reply, “But aren’t you concerned about the high mercury levels in all that fish?” Or counter “Oh well, my child really prefers Nigiri Sushi.” Of course not. She should avoid one-upmanship and contests of "food correctness." This leaves few alternatives but to nod appreciatively, mumble something about how “interesting” that is, and move the conversation forward with a change of subject. After all, she knows that though her son may currently be sucking down wilted dandelion greens with sherry vinegar like they're spun sugar, tomorrow night may be a different story entirely.