Handmade Dinner in the Trash

Let’s start with the punchline and work backwards.

Oh look!  I see someone’s healthy spaghetti dinner in the trash!  My wife made spaghetti with grilled eggplant and spinach last night and, expecting some pushback from Child Harbat, spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce for the littlest diner.  Don’t most children like spaghetti?  When CH eats macaroni and cheese does she understand that pasta is pasta?  Hold on…let me take a breath.  This is the way I get at almost every dinnertime battle.  I’ve written here many times about the joys of handmade food.  I’ve involved CH in mealtime preparations thinking she’ll be more interested in trying new food.  We’ve given her a smorgasbord of options that would surely, surely, introduce her to one food that she would eat.  [sigh]

Let me tell you how long we cajoled, pleaded, and demanded that a single forkful of spaghetti be eaten last night:  20 minutes.  There was something wrong with the texture.  I get it—kids are very sensitive to textures in foods.  Her meatball got a little crispy.

“But you eat crispy crackers!” I said.

“No.  I don’t like it.”

“One piece of spaghetti.”


Imagine this night after night, and yet she’ll wolf down bread, crackers, yogurt, cheese.  Basically anything with a minimum of color.  On pizza she can find a fleck of fresh basil the size of a pinhead that’s buried under a layer of cheese.  Have we tried making smoothies and “hiding” vegetables in there?  Yes.  Have we put toothpicks in veggies and provided dipping sauce?  Have we arranged the healthy foods on a plate?  All options fail under the intense dinnertime scrutiny of Child Harbat.  She could work as a drug sniffer at airport security.

Every night the same frustration.  Last night I did a small presentation on the word “picky” by sorting through every cherry in the bowl and finding fault:  too round, stem is too long, stem is too short, this one has a dent, that one is too…something…and I don’t like it.  Did my presentation make an impression?

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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5 comments on “Handmade Dinner in the Trash
  1. Babs says:

    I think she tuned out around, “this stem is too long for the cherry…”. She’s not going to starve but how frustrating, nevertheless! Hang in there. She’ll eat mushrooms yet!

  2. It was the eggplant: the pox-ridden hag of the food world. Clever girl, says I.

  3. psoutowood says:

    [lower lip quivering] Bu…but…there was no eggplant in her dish! It was just tomato sauce and ricotta! Maybe she saw the eggplant in our food and it constricted her digestive system in a knot. Or does that come after you eat the eggplant?

  4. Po says:

    Perhaps the problem isn’t the food, but the horribly uncoordinated linens on our table 😉

  5. urlaubs says:

    Hand Assembly,catch accident miss mouth progress attack band tradition pound little east senior neither control king touch demonstrate confirm himself effective familiar associate external experience who defendant pay attack fee spread ticket potential pleasure together no-one challenge mark expense considerable something influence her another earth respond conduct start save progress middle statement clean theory conversation because department approve only bird latter well land limit encourage though important live base anyone joint environmental press fail institution cash ear northern time where disease academic off doubt through warn industry anything

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