Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's Not Good For Us? We'll Eat It!

With Halloween coming, I am extra sensitive to all of the junk my kids are eating. They get enough candy as it is without adding all of the extra treats that start materializing weeks before the actual holiday. Luke had his Halloween party at school today, and brought home not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 goody bags. None of these contained a tooth brush.

My kids are connoisseurs of less than healthy food. If it has no redeeming healthful qualities, they’ll eat it. No matter what it may be. How can green beans be gross, but sour gummy worms filled with oozing liquid are not?

I think of the book and movie How to Eat Fried Worms and wonder – do boys have more of a penchant for tasting gross things than girls do? Would a group of girls ever come up with a contest like that? Being a girl, I doubt it. But then again, I hear about women on reality television shows like Survivor and Fear Factor and the things that they’ve eaten and can only think one thing - Barf!

Here are some examples of things that my boys have eaten or put in their mouths that defy explanation:

Snow and ice – I know that snow is a kid magnet, but most kids wait until there are at least 6 inches and no visible ground or grass before partaking. My son Jack eats snow even when there has only been a slight dusting. We constantly remind him of the color rules – no brown, no yellow, etc. He also can’t get enough of ice. He will take ice out of a cooler and eat it, thinking it is perfectly clean because it is in a receptacle. I try to explain to him that the ice was touching all of the cans that have been who knows where, not to mention all of the hands that reach in and feel around in the ice for the drinks. He doesn’t care. All this from a kid who won’t let me open his fruit roll up with my teeth. Here is a picture of Jack with my mom in Colorado a few years back. He almost ate all of the snow off the mountain. I thought his face was going to freeze off.

Things off of the ground – I can usually predict when this is going to happen and stop them in time. And, at 4 and 6 years of age, they pretty much know not to eat anything off of the ground. But sometimes it just happens. When we were at the pumpkin patch on Sunday and Luke was escaping from another one of those child-birth type bounce house exits, his gum popped out of his mouth. Before I could stop him he picked it up and popped it back in. He immediately spit it out, and picked grass and dirt off of his tongue for the next 15 minutes.

Grass – Jack didn’t eat grass because he thought it would taste good or because he was curious or because someone dared him. He did it to get away from a girl. There is a girl that always wants to play with him at recess, but he wants to go play tag with the boys. He ends up playing with her because he says it makes her sad if he does not. Come to find out, he has been thinking up creative ways to get out of playing with her. One day, he thought that if he ate grass she would think he was going to be sick because grass is so gross, and that would allow him to escape. It worked, which was counterproductive to my talk with him about why he should not eat grass.

Plant juice – We were at our neighbors’ house one day playing fetch with their dog. The neighbors had pulled giant leaves that looked like elephant ears (life-sized) from one of their many plantings, and laid them on the ground. The boys found them, including the adult boy my husband, and began trying to suck juice out of the stems. They were not successful.

Dog toy – This video shows my son, Luke, playing fetch with my Uncle Kiley on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. That is an actual used dog toy that they are playing with. And later Luke refused to taste the turkey. It takes most people three or four children before they lighten up on the germ patrol. I did it in two.

All of this adventurousness is paying off a little. Jack has become very brave when trying new foods – at least brave for him. He regularly eats Mexican food now, and tried Chinese food the other night. He ate wontons, shrimp, chicken and beef. He even tried snow peas, broccoli and baby corn. He liked everything but the rice. He put a big bite in his mouth and immediately spit it out on his plate. When John was looking for more rice later, Jack told him to eat his. John wasn’t very excited about the prospect of eating ABC food, so Jack told him, and I quote, “You can eat child spit, you’re in my family dude.”

1 comment:

Loth said...

My sons won't eat vegetables but I once saw my 9 year old pick something off his bare foot (he was in his pyjamas being read to in bed at the time) and eat it. Gack.