Whether it’s Ketchup, Pasta Sauce, Ranch Dressing, Organic Agave or Butter. Pick your poison! We all do it and privately we feel some shame but on the outside we show no fear of judgement. Let’s face it, the majority of kids are picky eaters. We got lucky, our first kid will eat anything. At a young age the only vegetable she didn’t like was zucchini. Now with our twins, Margot is following suit with her older sister but she does have her moment when she get picky.
Then there is Lochlan, stubborn about certain foods and he goes in waves with the foods he does like. One week he loves grapes, the next he shuns them. We tried ketchup with no success and butter only works on pasta. Then there is grated parmesan cheese, glorious shredded pecorino and melted monterey jack. Whether it’s sprinkled on or melted on top of something, he eats what ever is covered in the stuff. Sprinkle cheese on brussel sprouts, they are gone, sprinkle cheese on hot dog bites, they vanish.
Are you a bad parent for letting your child using these little accompaniments, my opinion, initially at a young age, “no”. When this habit moves into their middle years (6-10 years) it might prove a continuous problem later and health issues may arise. Of coarse you can buy Organic to avoid issues with all the chemicals and sugars that come in conventional product versions. In the end it’s the habit that proves to be problem. Today at age 6, Paley doesn’t use any yummy toppers other than grated cheese on pasta. From the age of 3 to 6 we made sure to phase those toppers out and it seems to work.
Why should you worry about the habit of using accompaniments? In my experience, excess drowns out the beauty of food and could cause health problem in adulthood. Case in point, sushi! I started eating sushi in my tween years and from day one I was told always eat it with soy sauce and I did for 20+ years. In 2009, after my fathers death, I was eating supper crappy and extremely stressed the weeks following his death. Little over 2 months later I began to experience episodes of vertigo. After a few weeks of tests, I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. Which was ultimately caused by my excess sodium and caffeine consumption. I quite coffee cold turkey, stopped cooking with salt and stopped drowning my sushi in soy sauce. My god the flavor spectrum of sushi is amazing.
So for now the twins condiment of choice is Cheese!