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Friday, February 26, 2016

Culinary Deceit

Greetings dear readers!

Today a most unexpected package arrived for us in the mail. My mom recently messaged that she was sending us a package with some baby stuff. However, there was an epic screwup from UPS and the package arrived at her doorstep in Illinois instead of our home here in Arizona. She then resent the package, but yesterday when UPS arrived for the delivery, we received some kind of industrial machine parts which totally confused the hell out of my husband and I because the package had a shipping label from my mom with her writing and address. He called my mom and she confirmed that the parts were not something my dad ordered for his office, thus ruling out what our initial guess of the items were. We assumed that a factory somewhere in America was receiving a shipment of baby clothes instead of these parts and were prepared to call it a loss and file a claim. However, when we got back this afternoon from a trip to my husband's clinic to get his methadone, there was a package sitting on the other side of the fence for us. Sure enough, it was the baby clothes and some extra goodies like coupons for baby food and diapers, a sippy cup, and some mushy food pouches.

I'd seen ads on Facebook for the mushy food pouches which were made by this company called Plum Organics, but I never bothered buying them because the baby eats what we eat and genuinely likes our food. I have an aversion to buying baby food because they are expensive and I feel they are limited in flavor range and condition the palate to consume only sugary, processed, fake crap that is mass produced and of no nutritional value. There were four pouches in the box: one broccoli apple, one with purple carrots and pear, one strawberry banana apricot flavor, and one apple carrot flavor. I was bewildered by the fruit and vegetable combinations, and my husband was positively appalled. With the exception of the all fruit one, he considers combining fruit and vegetables to be a culinary crime.

Spoiler alert: it tastes as gross as it sounds

Since lunchtime was approaching, I decided to test out one of the pouches with the baby. I decided to get the most disgusting one out of the way first, and that was the apple broccoli pouch. Before I let the baby have some, I took a taste. It was applesauce cut with some broccoli puree which gave it a radioactive green mush color. There was no mistaking the bitter green taste of broccoli once the apple taste quickly wore away and I thought it was positively gross. Against my better judgement, I let the baby have some. She ate about half the pouch and surprisingly didn't spit it out from disgust, but she let me know she had enough by shoving the pouch away from her. Not wanting to save this monstrosity, I finished it off and let her have some titty milk to chase the flavor away.

This little encounter with the baby industrial complex served to reinforce two important beliefs I hold about food and feeding children. The first being if I won't eat it, my kid won't either. The other is that food should not be hidden. This apple broccoli monstrosity was an attempt at hiding a vegetable that kids are known to despise (broccoli) by mixing it in with something they did like (applesauce). If you go hiding vegetables in food in an attempt to get your kid to eat them, you're deceiving your kid. This can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and cause problems with personal relationships because kids are smart and can tell when someone's BSing them.

Whenever we feed the baby, we always make it a point to include vegetables that are as minimally altered as possible so that we can all tell what we're eating! For example, in my recent beef and broccoli stir fry, I cut up some broccoli florets and asparagus to add to the stir fry. Sure enough, the baby ate the broccoli because it contributed to the overall taste of the stir fry in a beneficial way and the floret was small enough for her to pick up and put in her mouth by herself. There's a big difference between eating vegetables as part of a dish and mixing them in with something as a means of sneaking it past their lips.

Do you have any particular beliefs when it comes to feeding children?

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