Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Good Eater, Bad at Eating

Penny, no, don't give that to the doggies.  lick lick, gone.
Put your water on the table, please. plop.
Let's eat them one at a time. cram. cough. choke.
You want to try the spoon all by yourself? splatter.

Minding Manners

Tables manners and eating techniques are not my daughter's specialties.  She can't really manage her portion sizes, meaning, whatever amount of food put in front of her... that's about how much she'll put into her mouth for the next bite.  And we are waiting a little while to try the fork and spoon thing again.

As for me (or Dan), these days "meal preparation" means "cutting things up".. and cutting more things up.  And then cutting more things up.  Sometimes I'm not sure how much I eat in one sitting because as I'm eating my food, I'm cutting up bits from my plate for Penelope, or as I'm cutting up food for Penelope, I'm taking bites of hers and calling it my food.  All this seems pretty uncivilized and borders on rude if we were dining with etiquette police.

Chop chop chop, rip rip rip, peel peel peel.  I can hardly do this fast enough to keep up with her double fists.

These last few days the cutting and peeling has been in overdrive because I've been juicing at least one / sometimes two meals per day.  That means washing and preparing this many fruits and veggies to smash down the juicer for my meal.   [Left: breakfast of one whole stalk of broccoli, three large leaves of green chard, one orange, one cucumber, three carrots, two nectarines and a handful of strawberries]
But I digress.

I welcome the task without complaint because my child is a great eater.  She loves food and she eats even the healthy stuff (although she prefers peaches to broccoli if you ask my mother).  She'll even gladly sip on a kale smoothie for breakfast or guzzle some mean green from a straw when I drink it for dinner.  And that ain't no milkshake.

Always On My Mind

There's a certain preoccupation that I can't shake whenever I'm eating.  Even if I'm not with my daughter (like on days I'm at work and she lunches with the grandmas) I think about her little tummy -- what's going in it, how much, is it the right stuff? is it enough? is she choking on it?  Mother's instinct, probably.

As I cut cut cut, and constantly monitor her food intake procedures, I sometimes find myself wondering: When do babies start eating in a civilized fashion?  When can she manage her own plate?

I smiled last month as I sat with some of my favorite kinfolk at a wedding and watched as my cousin cut up some of his chicken and fruit and put it on a plate for his sweet baby girl, now age two-and-a-half.  He negotiated every other bite with love and patience.  The pieces were bigger but the routine the same.

Guess I've got a little while to go.

P.S. I'm hoping to interview a family-friend and pediatric nutritionist for a post later this month or next. Stay tuned!

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