Tag Archives: hummus

The Case of the Missing Dino Nugget

It’s lunchtime.

Again.

I know.

You can’t believe it’s lunchtime again. Wasn’t it just lunchtime yesterday? And the day before that? How many times does this kid need to eat?

But so goes the life of the parent of a toddler.

Only, the thing is, this lunchtime is different. This lunchtime, you’re already hour 16 into your new diet. That stupid, stupid new diet you Googled and pledged an oath to after not insignificantly injuring yourself on that deceptively sharp pork chop bone at dinner last night.

But what? Like, you were supposed to waste food? There was still a slightly visible morsel left clinging on there. And people are dying, man. Of hunger. That bandage on the upper right side of your mouth is proof you have a heart and care and stuff.

And so, you make lunch. Again. A semi-acceptable lunch (depending on who you talk to as long as who you are talking to is not Sienna, mom of Coco, from the playground) of corn on the cob, peas, applesauce and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets for junior. And a plate of vegetables (a.k.a. tasteless dirt fruit) for you.

Within 10 minutes, you’ve already inhaled your carrots and hummus* and assorted green crap (crap meant quite literally here as, at some point, some cow probably defecated on all these things).

*Fancy word for “not ranch dip.”

lunch_kale

Which means, you have a good 45 minutes left of sitting at the table just staring at The World’s Slowest Eater as he happily smears ketchup into not only his hair but also his ears. Which, luckily, gives you plenty of time to reflect on just how hungry you are. And you ARE hungry. You’re starving. I mean, look at you. You’re wasting away. You’re practically a stick figure.

lunch_stick

And then there’s that last dino nugget. Just sitting there. All lonely on his plate. Getting colder with every passing second. Chockful of delicious fat and salt and cancer-causing chemicals that magically makes boring, old chicken taste like deep-fried unicorn.

He wouldn’t even notice, you reason to yourself. Look at him. Completely oblivious. Too busy leading the corn on the cob on a Viking-esque raid against the defenseless peas. Smash. Smash. Smash. Meanwhile, the nugget sits all alone in the southwest corner, completely undefended. You should eat it just to teach him a valuable military strategy lesson.

No. No! You would never do that. My god. Stealing food practically from your child’s mouth! What kind of monster are you?

EXCEPT…”technically” the nugget is nowhere near his mouth. I mean, he doesn’t seem to have any interest in it or anything. It’s so bad for him anyway. The only reason you gave him the dino nuggets is because it’s the only way you could force some protein down his tiny adorable throat. And he’s already eaten four of them. You eating that last one would only make his lunch all the more healthy.

No. No! My god, woman, think about what you’re proposing here. He’ll want that last nugget. You know he will. Just as soon as he’s done drowning the defeated and maimed peas in applesauce. Rise above this. Find some willpower, lady.

Just one taste, though. A tiny bite. Just to make the temptation go away. And he can have the rest.

No. No!

But then, without even realizing it, you look down in horror and see the nugget is gone. And you are chewing. And then swallowing. And it’s too late now. That hormone-stuffed, vaguely shaped Tyrannosaurus Rex is already halfway to your stomach.

lunch_nugget

Maybe he won’t notice.

And that’s when the crying begins.

Now, you have three options here.

Option 1: Confess and Bribe

“Baby, Momma’s so sorry. She didn’t mean to. It just…happened. And, I mean, I’m not trying to pass the buck here or anything, but really, it’s society’s fault for making me think I have to be skinny. So, in a way, you could say it was Vogue magazine that ate your nugget. Now let’s go get you some ice cream!”

Option 2: Straight Up Lie

“I don’t know what happened to your last nugget, honey. Maybe you ate it? Yeah, I think I remember seeing you eat it. By the way, and this is in no way related to the missing nugget, but I’m totally buying you a new car when you turn 16.”

Option 3: MacGyver Your Way Out

“Don’t cry, sweets. Momma is just going to reach down into your onesie and see if we can find…yep! Look here! A perfectly good half-eaten nugget stuck between your Buddha belly and chest. Oh! And 13 more peas! And soggy Cheerios from yesterday. See, no reason to cry.”

The thing to keep in mind here, terrible though your behavior has been, is that he’ll never even remember that this happened. So relax.

That is, of course, unless you’re the idiot who posted the whole thing on the Internet to live on for all eternity.

lunch_remember1 lunch_remember2

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Veggie Tales…of HORROR!

I blame ice cream. You ever have ice cream? Of course you have. You’re not dead. Or stupid.

So you can probably understand where I’m coming from when I blame ice cream for my hatred of vegetables. You feed my 3-year-old mouth that magical creamy substance made from unicorn laughter and puppy dreams and then a few hours later expect me to be happy when you shove some green beans in there?

Yeah. Nice try, Mom.

As you can see, my relationship with vegetables was tumultuous starting at a very young age. There was the Great Tomato Stand-Off when I was 6, where my mom and I sat staring at each other from across the table for hours, a lone tomato slice sitting in between us. After what felt like a lifetime, the tomato slice was gone but I had vowed to never eat another tomato as long as I lived. A vow I took with my hand resting on “The Children’s Illustrated Bible” so my mom knew just how serious I was about it.

There was the Epic Onion Picking Out Adventure of 1993, where I methodically deconstructed my Taco Bell burrito and then hunted down every single tiny chopped onion there within when the cruel, uncaring teenage workers messed up my order.

And then there was the Legendary Mushroom Vomit Incident in high school, which for your sake, dear reader, I’ll leave the details up to your imagination. (HINT: It was gross).

Of course, as I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten a little bit better. For example, my husband finally convinced me to try guacamole, a major feat considering my inherent suspicion of any and all things green. I actually ended up loving it, so much so that my husband hasn’t had so much as a bite of the stuff since then because I grab it out of the waiter’s hand every time we go to a Mexican restaurant and guard it with my body like Gollum protecting his precious.

I also now like hummus, once I found out that hummus is not the same thing as haggis (Google “haggis,” kids, if you never want to sleep again).

I even will voluntarily eat a salad from time to time, as long as the main feature of said salad is meat of some sort.

But despite these advancements in my palate, I am still at heart a carnivore. So much so in fact, that while most food pyramids looks like this..

Food pyramid

…my food pyramid looks like this…

Food pyramid 2

Meat is my first love and is the main staple of all my meals. The rest of the stuff on the plate? Garnish, pretty much. For example, here’s a typical conversation between my husband and I:

Him: “What do you want for dinner?”

Me: “Steak.”

Him: “OK, what else?”

Me: “I don’t understand the question.”

Which is why when my friend DeDe came to visit me here in Boston a few weeks ago and informed me she was now a vegetarian, I entered full-on freak out mode. Not because she was a vegetarian. I had plenty of friends who were vegetarians. And some vegans. And even for awhile some who were hardcore raw foodists.

No, I was freaking out because I had never had to feed a vegetarian for a week. I kept trying to think of meals I could make for her but my limited knowledge of the food in the produce aisle hindered my attempts significantly.

“Is corn a meal? Can I just make her corn? Or…um…salad? But what else goes on salad besides meat? Is chicken considered meat? I guess I could do something with a potato. But do people actually eat potatoes without bacon bits? Oh god, she’s going to starve to death!”

Luckily, I eventually figured it out.

Kind of.

I did make her a lovely eggplant parmesan (or at least I think it was lovely…I have no idea how it was actually supposed to taste), where I discovered that eggplants are not that pretty purple color all the way through much to my disappointment. We also ate out a lot. And ordered a lot of delivery cheese pizza.

And the girl probably ate more fruit than is healthy for a human since the other options in my fridge were less than desirable (“Hey, here’s some cottage cheese. It expired three years ago but it’s probably fine”).

But the point is, she survived. And I survived. And thanks to this experience, my horizons regarding food have been widened even further. I mean, who knows where it could go from here? Maybe now I’ll even figure out how you’re supposed to eat that zucchini that’s been hanging out in the back of my fridge.

Or is it a cucumber?

Oh, nope. You know what? I bet it’s that leftover corn on the cob from last summer.