I like when my food looks nearly as great as it tastes. I’m no culinary pro. I am certainly not a self-proclaimed foodie. However, I think we can all agree a petite mound of canned tuna on some lettuce and tomato garnished with some olives certainly looks and feels a helluva lot better than eating that cat-food looking shit straight out of the can.
I feel like my kid deserves the same. He’s just starting to explore all kinds of new food. While I don’t believe I should be styling his food into smiley faces and cartoon characters daily, I do think he can already appreciate color, a variety of textures, and a visually pleasing meal.
You might be spouting snark in your head. . .It’s gimmicky, a waste of time, you suck. And I’ll retort, if it gets him to try new foods more readily, what’s the harm? Plus, don’t we want to instill healthy eating habits – eating the rainbow, portion control, all that other shit I struggle to do myself? I think a good-looking plate can help.
You may resume snarking now. I’m off my very short soapbox.
Several months before Mac was born I stumbled upon these really cute plastic trays at Target. They were white instead of pea green, but otherwise they looked identical to the cafeteria trays I used in grade school!
Picture me squealing to myself in delight, nearly busting the safety-pin off my early pregnancy bulging wool trousers. Picture me mentally envisioning a scene right out of Leave it to Beaver where Chris, Mac and I cozy up with our little trays in our TV Room for a Friday night dinner and movie.
I can FEEL your snark. But hey, let’s be fair, back then I didn’t know any better. I actually thought that’s how our family could operate. Delusional at 4 months pregnant.
Flash forward. Kid needs to eat. Kid can’t eat anywhere near upholstery likely EVER. Kid can appreciate good food, lovingly slopped on a pretty plastic tray. So for dinners, I’ve made it routine to load up his cafeteria tray.
He seems to like it. As for me? For the three minutes it takes me to prepare his plate, I feel just like the fabulous but bitchier June Cleaver.