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Secret Agent Mama
There was a time when our son Henry would eat anything. All the great things like peas and squash and apples and bananas and the not-so-great things like wood chips and carpenter ants. Now a first grader, Henry has gone from a bouncing baby who happily consumed every kind of fruit and vegetable, to a child whose diet consists of cheeseburgers, pancakes, macaroni and cheese, and an occasional bite of apple.
My tipping point over his picky palate occurred last fall during dinner at a friend's house, when Henry loudly refused to even pretend to try to eat anything. While he sat in front of a clean white plate, the other children, including our daughter, Julia, acted like poster children for the Healthy Food Movement — devouring chicken, carrots and sliced tomatoes.
Later that evening as my mortification faded, my anxiety grew. My mind raced forward in time to a vision of a pallid and overweight adult-Henry, sitting on a couch surrounded by Big Mac wrappers.
With the unhealthy-Henry vision clearer than ever the next morning, (What is it about being a Mom that makes us unable to let these things go?), I created a covert dining operation and enlisted some secret agents with all the "don't ask, don't tell" attitude of the American military establishment. After interviewing a few other moms of picky eaters, I carefully selected my secret agents:
I'm still working on a healthy fruit smoothie that I plan to covertly pour into Danimals bottles when no one is looking.
If I get any weird expressions or pointed questions at meal time, I tell everyone that their dinner is "well-fortified" and leave it at that. And I'm sleeping a whole lot better at night.