Saturday, May 19, 2007

No Regrets

My kids eat a lot of typical kid foods. The other day I was thinking of the ones I wasn’t going to miss when they got old enough to eat other things. This was actually in the context of things I wasn’t going to miss in general about my kids being small: sippy cups, baby gates, pacifiers. Don’t misunderstand me—I know when they’re not babies anymore, I’ll look back and think how cute they were, and wish they could have stayed small forever. But there are some things I simply will not miss about having small children, and some of them are food-related.

Cereal Bars
Right now we buy boxes of cereal bars at Costco. They come in strawberry, blueberry, and apple. My older son will eat only the strawberry ones, the twins eat all the flavors. A cereal bar is their typical “first” breakfast. They also get another breakfast at daycare, and on weekends we often make something else around 9 a.m. or so. They’re really nothing but cookie with jam in them, but they serve their purpose. I’ll be glad, however, to see them go.

Eggo Waffles
Again, something else we buy in bulk at Costco (with four kids, there aren’t many things for the kids we don’t buy in bulk at Costco). My older son likes them cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, primarily Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (which then gets its nose dipped into a little tub of red decorator sugar). He dips the shapes into his syrup. The twins get no syrup. Nutritionally, these aren’t quite as bad as cereal bars (although the syrup is no gem), but they’re still something I’m tired of buying and making.

I had a debate with a friend about Gogurt. Her position was any yogurt was good yogurt. I said I agreed right up to Gogurt. Any of those kid yogurts are fine, but Gogurt is just garbage. There’s so little of it in a tube, and it has so much sugar, that I think any positive effects of active cultures or calcium is completely negated by the sugar. Although we buy it, it stays in the freezer and is an occasional treat. In truth, Gogurt is no friend of mine, and it does not get a Christmas card from me.

Chicken Nuggets
I don’t mean McDonald’s chicken nuggets. I sheepishly admit to kind of liking those. I’m talking about the ones we buy in bulk that are orange, for God’s sake. They’re fast—they heat up in the microwave in 30 seconds or something, and they claim to be made of whole breast meat (not mushed up reformed random pieces), but that doesn’t redeem them completely in my opinion, and I won’t miss them when the last of my kids stops saying she wants chicken nuggets for dinner.

Hot Dogs
We buy Hebrew National all beef hot dogs, and I actually like them, but I’m kind of tired of making hot dogs. Because the twins are under two, they have to be cut up in small pieces, and my older son actually eats his cold (yes, I agree that this is vile). I won’t mind when hot dogs take an occasional role in our diet, but their constant presence is tiresome.

Juice Boxes
I just seem to be down on all the common kid foods, don’t I? Juice boxes squirt when you squeeze them, which little boys think is hysterical. Mothers do not think this is hysterical because they have to clean it up. Yes, juice boxes are convenient, but they’re messy. I won’t miss them.

In general, I will be very grateful when my kids are old enough to eat the same things my husband and I want to eat (although I know it will likely be many years before they’re actually willing to eat things like fennel and lentils). Still, when they stop eating cereal bars and juice boxes, I won’t shed a tear.

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