Dinner time prep is like the bewitching hour in our home. Karsten is usually crankier than cranky and follows me around the kitchen crying to be nursed or picked up. Either that or he wreaks havoc on my drawers and utensils to the point that I have no walking space left. So, I've come up with a way to keep him happy and tonight proved the benefits of my brilliant methods. Ready for this? It's a whopper, people! I'm telling you, THIS. IS. ORIGINAL.
I put him on the counter next to me.
Yep, that's it. I pick him up and plop his cute little buns right up next to me where he can properly desanitize my food prep area. And you know what? He has the grandest time up there. He tries to stick knives in toasters (had to unplug it right in the middle of pressing garlic tonight), samples the skins of the ripening avocados I have lined up on the back of my counter, and of course he taste tests EVERY little part of my meal preparation. Which has proven to be one of the most amusing things ever for this mama to watch!
Tonight, I stood in awe while Karsten popped one after another of pickled, curried garlic cloves into his mouth like they were candy. He happily crunched away as I mused over the many varied palates we have in our family. Soren can't stand the garlic. Dan LOVES it. Anders likes it. And I tolerate it. Karsten apparently takes after his daddy. Then I broke out the sun-dried tomatoes, drained them, and started slicing. Not too long after they hit the cutting board, I had to start slicing with extra care because little chubby fingers kept sneaking one or two away at a time. He loved those too!
I was dumbfounded and delighted at the sight of this little 18-month-old contentedly eating garlic and tomatoes as if it was the most natural thing in the world! Oh wait, it is. It's the gold fishies and pretzels and go-gurts and cheese sticks that AREN'T natural. Tonight I thank the Lord for being able to see the literal fruits (or veggies, in this case) of our culinary labors. It is the MOST. WONDERFUL. THING. in the world to watch your child eat brain-building, body-nurturing, immune-boosting, nutritionally dense foods . . . and love it! Karsten is my angel in this tough u-turn-of-an-eating-venture that we have instigated. When we sit down to dinner and Soren and Anders immediately start to point out and whine about the things they don't want to eat, Karsten just digs right in. He is the proof that a palate not already so accustomed to processed foods and sugars can actually find enjoyment in natural foods. He's happy with a banana for dessert because he doesn't know any different!
Taste buds are amazing, right?!
P.S. To be fair, Soren and Anders are coming along well, too. Soren will pragmatically inform me what parts of the dinner he does not care for, but makes certain I know that he'll eat them anyway. And he does! And Anders ate all his sun-dried tomatoes tonight without gagging once!! Progress, people! :P
P.P.S. These pictures of Karsten were taken last month . . . before our great food overhaul . . . hence, the Cheerios. But YAY for the faces, right?! I mean, you just gotta love this kid with his amazing ZEST for life!