Like many of us, today’s guest-poster Melanie Rehak read Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser and became inspired to shop more responsibly. But also, like many of us, she was confused about how exactly to go about doing this. That’s what led her to work at a small restaurant that focused on local, sustainable foods as well as work at the farms that supplied that restaurant. (Not like many of us.) And guess what? For all she learned and cooked, she still couldn’t figure out how to feed her oldest son, whose excuses for not eating what she cooks made me laugh out loud. She tells the whole story in Eating for Beginners, new in paperback, and a free copy of which goes to a commenter chosen at random*. But for now, here’s part of the story, which includes a killer bacony pasta recipe as well as the always helpful reminder not to blame ourselves when we are face-to-face with a picky eater at the dinner table.
Until about 8 months ago, I was the parent of a picky eater. Before you groan at the thought of yet another story about how a formerly chicken nuggets-eating child is now a gourmet, fear not. My five year-old remains such a bizarre—dare I say, contentious—eater that I’ve dumbfounded even the most experienced parents with my tales of his refusals of plain pasta and toast. He has never once allowed a bite of hamburger or macaroni and cheese to pass his lips, and his current favorite food is pea shoots. And no, I’m not going to boast about his charming, eclectic tastes. Have you ever sat through a meal with a child who eats three pea shoots and then listened to him whine until bedtime because he’s hungry? (more…)