One of the joys of motherhood is introducing Ainsley to new foods.
Last spring, Ainsley developed an affinity for beets. I think it was the name coupled with the fact she got to lug softball-sized beets around the farmers market, telling everyone how much she loved beets, and getting lots of attention for it. Recently, I thawed some roasted beets and served them for supper. No dice.
“I don’t like this,” times a zillion.
Now, she’s on a broccoli kick. She wants brokky trees. All. Of. The. Time. I foresee a beetlike rejection in the near future.
I remember a similar episode in my toddlerhood, immediately cured by my dad going, “Broccoli’s stinky! You don’t like broccoli, do you?” Nope. Sure don’t. You’ll be glad to know I recovered later in life and now eat broccoli as often as I am able.
It could be worse. Ainsley could only eat peanut butter. Or candy. Or some sort of processed meat food, like riblets. Or cheese.
She’s also of the age where she enjoys helping in the kitchen. Her favorite thing to cook is pancakes, and this means we have pancakes for supper at least once a week.
We’re a pancake-loving family, so we aren’t complaining, and it’s darn cute watching her stir (and subsequently wear) the batter. I’m saving the secret of Mickey Mouse-ear pancakes for her birthday.
Her culinary adventures aren’t confined to human food, either.
One of her favorite routines is to help Ginger, one of our dogs, eat her supper by individually popping pieces of kibble into long-suffering Ginger’s mouth. Poor, patient Ginger just sits there, wagging her tail in between bites, happy that her baby’s giving her attention.
For as long as she’s been eating solids, Ainsley’s eaten what we were eating. We do try to make special allowances for a toddler’s tastes.
Recently, we had spicy shish kabobs, and instead of giving her a skewer, which seemed like a colossally bad idea, we grilled some of the meat by itself and with about half the spices. She surprised us by demanding “more spicy” and eating the kicked-up chicken with relish.
I don’t foresee that trend ending any time soon.
Beth Colvin is The Advocate’s assistant Food editor. She can be reached at bcolvin@the advocate.com.