This is a photo of my daughter’s breakfast remains. I gave her a chocolate croissant for a special treat, and she immediately dug a hole into its side and slurped the chocolate out, leaving behind its bready shell. After that, she put a fingertip dot of chocolate on each cheek, in what I can only imagine represents an attempt at toddler cosmetics, then cheerfully announced, “Done!”
It’s strange, because you wouldn’t think children would find bready croissant bits gastronomically unacceptable. Yet this is completely in line with many of her food habits. Confronted with pizza, she will quickly strip the melted cheese off every piece and assume the crusts are garnish. She will suck the chocolate off chocolate-covered raisins and spit the raisin pits on the floor. She is very talented at removing all traces of Shake-n-Bake from pork chops without ingesting any actual protein.
Maybe this is how we would all eat if we just didn’t give a crap. Toddlers, after all, know absolutely nothing about nutrition and don’t concern themselves with maintaining nice figures. They aren’t worried about wasting food, since they don’t pay for it and it always magically reappears. They don’t yet have enough foresight to worry if they will be hungry in a couple hours. So really, they are just following their natural appetites with consequence-free abandon in the random smorgasbord of life.
I guess I don’t entirely blame her. Truth be known, a sheer sense of obligation makes me eat the vegetables in honey-walnut prawn take-out dishes. All I really want is fried shrimp and candied walnuts.
Still, it’s hard for me to believe that the same kid who used to eat handfuls of toilet paper and sneak swigs of toothpaste is now rejecting pastries and pizza crust.