My son Takeh usually says, “I don’t want it” when “dishes that are painful to eat” are served.
When I tell him, “It’s delicious, isn’t it? Try it,” he exclaims, “No, I don’t want it!”
Recently he has gained wisdom and is able to judge “this is OK and this is not OK” just by looking at the food.
Based on his past experiences, he refuses to eat vegetables that look bitter or sour, or fibrous foods that seem to take a long time to chew. And I, the cook, would be very disappointed.
But there is one exception. Meat with bones. Perhaps the taste of the meat outweighs the effort of eating it. He loves meat, just like any other child. As a parent, I would like him to grow up to be a vegetable lover, but it is not always easy for him to grow up the way his parents expect.
This time I made a dish of chicken wings with sweet and spicy sauce.
Will he eat them? If he doesn’t eat it, I’ll have to prepare another dish for him in a hurry. If he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to eat it. I couldn’t tell him, “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it; you’re not eating today.
He learned that he could eat the chicken wings if he held the bone horizontally, and from then on he ate them.
This was a great success. He was calm and composed as he silently ate the meat off the bone, and he didn’t complain when the couple talked, ignoring Takeh.
I hope to discover many dishes like this that will help him concentrate on his meal, but so far, “meat on the bone” is the strongest.
I hoped that boiled edamame (soybeans) in the pod would be another meal that would help him concentrate. I hoped it would, but he kicked me out. I thought, “No, I don’t want it!”