Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Morris – Not The Pickiest Eater

He was one of the most famous faces and names of the 1970′s.  The word finicky became a household word and its definition was displayed as an orange Tabby cat, named Morris.  This snarky feline was notorious for turning his nose up to just any brand cat food, the only success coming from 9-Lives Cat Food.

Allow me to introduce you to someone so sneaky when it comes to food, me.  I like my foods plain, and only red meats or poultry and starches get my seal of approval.  I have been this way all my life.  Seafood, I do not want to see this food or eat it.  Green leafy vegetables, last I checked, there is no bushy tail attached to my derrier.

At the risk of being a poster boy for all they hypocrites of the world, I knew that I had to do better when it came to encouraging my daughters to eat properly.  From the beginning, both girls were given “everything” on their plate.  Wendy and I never made it seem like it was some sort of monumental effort to get the girls to try foods as if there was something wrong with what we were serving them.  But a couple of years later, after beginning to master “no thank you”, Wendy and I took a different approach to sampling new flavors.  We called it a “no thank you bite”.  Basically, you had to try it, and if you still did not like it, then you could say “no thank you.”  Sometimes that happened, but mainly our efforts were successful.

Today, my daughters are split on their eating habits.  The older one continues to love eating her greens.  She loves her red meat, but enjoys anything green with it.  Given her choice, she would probably sit and eat an entire bag of frozen brocoli.  Our youngest though has become a challenge.  She has mastered “holding out”.  Now taking the longest to eat a meal, she now stretches lunch or dinner to nearly an hour and a half while barely touching her plate.  She counts on being offered a snack with Madison.  That is right, Emmalie is our junk food bug.  Wendy and I have a fairly good grasp on it, but with guests or while visiting others we are clearly outnumbered.

We succeeded in getting the girls to eat or at least try everything in spite of how finicky an eater that I am.  Occasionally I had to take one for the team just to show that the food was harmless.  Fortunately, neither daughter has mastered how to read poker faces.  Surely they would have figured me out.

When I had the heart surgery, one of the major changes I was supposed to make, though the reason for needing the surgery was not diet related, I needed to eat better.  Everyone from doctors to nurses to my daughters pushed me to eat healthier.  And I tried, I really tried.   Wendy made all kinds of vegetables drowned in garlic so that garlic was all that I tasted.  I even learned a new way to tolerate eating veggies, to anyone’s shagrin  who would be sitting at a table with me, ketchup.  I put ketchup on everything green.  Bottom line, it gets the green into me at least.  It does not look great to you, but for me, I am getting the nutrients needed.  It would totally defeat the purpose, but I could smother everything in melted cheese if your prefer.

Of course, I tire of ketchup, which means that I stop eating the vegetables for awhile until I start to regain the will to eat ketchup again.  There are nightly challenges from the girls to eat green, but they are antagonizing about it.  “Come on daddy, just one bite, but no ketchup.”

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