Nasty Chicken

My younger daughter eats about three things in her lunches. Well, not really, but it feels like it. She prefers (strongly) ham, tofu, and occasionally chicken as her protein source in her lunch. Apple slices, carrot or zucchini sticks, raisins or craisins. Applesauce. Sometimes a leafy green thing. Rarely broccoli.

You’d think a kid who doesn’t dip things (no ketchup, no mayo, no mustard; peanut butter is eaten solo, jelly is destined for gluten free toast or waffles only) and eats plain cold tofu by choice would love just about anything flavorsome but no, she’s particular.

On Thursday I saved an especially tender bit of meat from our dinner and sent it in her lunch on Friday.  I did tell her what her lunch was (like I always do), but she was distracted by, oh, probably dust motes in the sunlight or the sound of silence in a paper cup or maybe the color of her eyelids when they are closed. You know, normal kid stuff.

After school she informed me that she didn’t finish her lunch because she really, truly didn’t like it. “That tasted like naaasty chicken, Mom.” Her tone was mildly accusatory. (Perhaps she overheard me discussing life insurance with another mom outside the library?)

“Well, sweetie, that’s because it was pork.” So hard to keep a straight face at times. For her siblings all meat was ham, accompanied by a grabbing gesture, for her, it’s always chicken. Except for steak and bacon. Everyone correctly identifies steak and bacon.

Once she knew it was pork and not rotten, nasty, poison your child and collect the insurance chicken, she ate it just fine. She was so hungry she devoured her after school snack, too. Apparently pork is ok when you are expecting it, a potential murder weapon when you are not. And she’s always starving after school because they have “lunch” at 1030 am and no snacks. I pity the kids who don’t get to eat healthy food and subsist on sugary carby crap all day long. The blood sugar roller coaster must be much more severe.

I still cannot reconcile her pickiness with her absolute adoration of plain tofu. I just cannot stand that stuff. It’s like baked egg whites. Yecch. For a child who cannot eat dairy or gluten, however, and is sensitive to textures, we are lucky that she eats so many things, really. So, she gets tofu, even though I know it is considered a dietary no-no by many. Pick your battles and all that.

More for her. I’ll eat some pork.

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