Sunday, September 12, 2010

Somebody throw me a (junior) Masterchef

Another night, another fight over dinner in the Fibro. Mr3 is not a good eater. Scratch that, he is a good eater as long as I serve him something he likes. He recently informed me that the only thing that I cook that he likes is chips. Chips. And this week he decided he didn't even want to eat those.

He will eat cucumber. He doesn't mind a carrot stick. Capsicum, slices of apple, slivers of cheese, all good. If he were on a diet, we'd be going great. Anything else on his plate, and he can sit at the table for hours not eating. He will talk, sing, tell stories, ask questions - anything but eat. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, incredibly frustrating.

Tonight, he was despatched to bed. Three refusals equals early night. Not long after he went, I sat on the sofa and watched kids a few years older than him shave truffles over mashed potato, temper white chocolate and make baklava. Boys with hairstyles ranging from Ben 10 to Suzie Quatro to Justin Bieber worried anxiously over their Quatre Quarts, their honey-soy-lime stir fry, their lemon meringue pies. Lots of interchangeable blonde girls did beautiful things with pomegranates and almonds.

Junior Masterchef was eye-opening. On one hand it gives me hope that Mr3, who shows a keen interest in helping me in the kitchen even if he doesn't actually want to eat what I cook, may one day end up with a cool haircut and a practised hand with a whisk. On the other, the little girl who cooked her mini-mud cakes in plastic ramekins had me in tears. As did all those hopeful little faces, waiting to see if their best was good enough. The mums and dads in the grandstand, beaming and weeping over their offspring, did me in completely.

I'm not good in the face of childish feats of wonder. Get me on the wrong day, and a children's choir can have me in floods. All that purity of sound. All those earnest faces. All that potential. It overloads my senses and turns me into a basket case.

I will give Junior Masterchef one more night, to see if I can cope with the sight of children trying manfully to hide their disappointment at not being chosen. If not, I'll despatch myself to bed early. It seems only fair.



  1. We watched masterchef tonight as a family, and yes it was heartbreaking to see the girl with her plastic ramekins.

  2. I have a non eater here too ...he lived on breastmilk for the first eighteen months almost, with a little white rice for good measure. Slowly we are adding a few more likes still he only eats 4 slivers of beans with the seeds out no peas either but hey an apple with a hole that's a winner.

    The disappointment of the adults MC was bad enough ...I'll have to buy more tissues.

  3. I've been told that this is the key to getting your kids not to be fussy- let them help make the dinner and present it to the rest of the family as their recipe.

    Did you see Emma's post on getting your kids to eat veggies?

  4. Butter wouldn't melt in my daughter's mouth - so sweet, so agreeable - so stubborn.
    One summer all she would eat was fried bread. I went along with it, on the judo principle - for THREE WEEKS. She was beginning to look like fried bread, greasy and slightly translucent - and then she cracked.
    There were no problems, and I mean no problems, with picky eating after that at all (her brother cheerfully ate anything put in front of him except celery all the way through).

    There is hope. Don't worry.

  5. "Despatch myself to bed early." What a great phrase. Sounds wonderful.

  6. Al, I know it's frustrating. But I honestly there are no winners with kids and food battles........

  7. @Lucy - I have that in that in the back of my mind the whole time. Makes it even worse.

  8. I watched up until that 12 year old kid's analysis of the judges and switched off in horror. I cannot handle precocious chatty children, the lip curls instantly.

    Who in god's name makes plastic ramekins?

    Don't turn food into a battle zone. He either eats it or he doesn't but serve him what everyone else is having. He will soon learn that hungry people eat what is put in front of them. Ignore all whinging and mother guilt. He will not allow himself to starve.

  9. Oh junior masterchef was so good, I'm hooked already!
    I have one of those fussy 3-yr-old eaters... and a 13-yr-old who used to be one too.
    Yep, frustration city, but both still alive and thriving despite the protestations about the food I serve.
    Hang in there.

  10. they were pretty amazing, sure puts my cooking to shame! I'd say they'd be well supported after their crushing defeat,'s hard enough for adults to have their dreams smashed, let alone kids..

  11. I really don't think I could handle watching that show! All their dear little faces....

  12. Wish I could say it improves with time, and I guess it eventually does - but my Mr.4 has gotten worse over the past year. I'm sure it's less about the food, and more about making a point. Reached the point where I'm even happy if he eats a pile of roast potato for dinner!

  13. Oh hon, I so understand your battle. It gets better, mainly because I gave up on fighting the issue. I keep doing my best and so does Mr Small. We'll get there one day....

  14. We watched Jr Masterchef and I agree, watching their hopeful faces as they served up amazing dishes pulled on the heartstrings. I'm waiting for my kids to ask me to add pomegranates to the shopping list.

    I found that my fussy eaters were more likely to eat what we were having for dinner if I placed everything in the centre of the table and they served themselves. They had to have at least a little bit of everything and had to eat everything they put on their plate. They could have seconds of the things that they liked.

    Take heart. My fussy eater will now try most foods and cheerfully helped himself to the lamb korma, chicken tikka and beef masala that I ordered for my birthday dinner. There is hope.

  15. You know that I get it. Bloody three year old boys. Grrr.

    The only cooking shows I watch are Jamie's. Something about the lisp (and the strange resemblance to Benny W) sucks me in everytime.

    Babychef is not for me.

  16. My 9-year-old has Aspergers and has sensory issues, so will not eat certain foods. For example, he won't eat sandwiches, but will eat toasted ones. He won't eat rice, unless it's in sushi. He loves spicy food too. He also goes through phases of saying: I'm not eating anything. So I've learned to involve him in the meal planning, buying, preparation and cooking/creating. He will then at least it a little of whatever he has made, and they are all good skills for a male or female to have - to be able to cook good food.
    He would rather make a wrap at home, for example, then buy one from a fast food outlet. And I respect that.
    Fruit is the most difficult part. Unless I cut it up for him, he will only eat apples. But an apple a day ...)

  17. Oh you are a braver woman than I... apart from the fact that at the time the show was on I was wrangle 8 children under 7 and a huge pile of fish and chips... I don't think I could have watched Junior Master Chef, to much pressure, to much pride... too many hormonal tears. Because you know I am only crying because I'm hormonal... no really...


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