The unintentional vegetarian

We all have heard that toddlers are picky eaters. It’s one of the many qualities that defines their obstinacy. You know, kids who don’t want to eat their broccoli and demand mystery nuggets and dessert. Not my kid.

To be fair, he is always open to candy, cookies, and cakes – the kind of crap his T1D mother has banished from the house, only to be enjoyed on rare special occasions.

Broccoli, though? Slap a pile of those tiny trees on his plate and they will be devoured. Asparagus, carrots, green beans, peas, sweet peppers – give the kid a veggie and he’s a happy man. Potential children’s book? “If you give a kid a carrot…”

Same goes for fruit. Bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, berries – he will eat the rainbow.

But when it comes to meat, the guy turns up his nose. With the exception of hot dogs and breakfast sausage, we are lucky if he takes more than two bites of protein – whether it’s chicken, beef, or turkey.

Don’t worry, my son isn’t malnourished by any means. So how does he get his protein? He’s a fan of beans, yogurt, eggs, peanut butter, and cheese. Relating to the latter, he may have had mac & “cheese” for breakfast five days in a row recently…judge if you will. I can tell you how many flips I give (hint: rhymes with hero).

Look, I can appreciate vegetarianism. I’ve been there myself. I did a brief stint as a vegetarian after watching horrifying documentaries on the disgusting commercial food industry and the inhumane slaughtering of animals. It turned out not to be a lifestyle for me – an epiphany that came after guzzling nearly an entire pulled pork sandwich before it even registered in my head as off limits (it was delicious by the way).

Given the amount of steak and red meat I craved during my pregnancy, it truly baffles me that my kid isn’t all about it.

I’m sure the day will come when all he wants is a fat, juicy burger. So until then, I’m content that he actually willingly eats his veggies and is a happy, healthy, growing boy. And, it actually helps my husband and I get more vegetables in our diets as well – balances out the rest of the crap we eat, right?

*UPDATE: The night of this post I made (pre-made) tortellini that my son usually loves. Let me clarify, he loves it when it is cheese tortellini. This past grocery trip, my dear husband – God bless him – bought Italian sausage tortellini. I was shaking my head the entire three minutes it took to cook.

I asked my son if he was ready to eat his pasta. He happily said, “Yes, eat pasta.” I plated it and set it in front of him. He enthusiastically took a bite and then slid the plate across the table in disgust. 

However, he happily ate fistfuls of the mixed veggies I cooked up. 

My husband learned a valuable lesson: always stick to cheese. 


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