- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2008

For nearly 20 years, I have been fighting single-handedly on the losing side of a continual, life-and-death battle for dominance.

In my kitchen.

Ever since my children started eating solid foods, I have schemed, strategized and struggled to find and secure food just for myself.

You see, they eat more and faster than I can. They eat more and faster than most wild animals can. And now that MY favorite foods have become THEIR favorite foods, I hardly get a taste anymore.

They will eat through an order of seafood lo mein and leave only the broccoli.

They will eat through a rack of beef ribs and leave only the gristle.

They will eat through a bucket of chicken and leave only the grease spot.

They are like a plague of locusts. Cap’n Crunch, lemon cake, molasses cookies - all of my favorites vanish before I can get the grocery bags into the house.

It was so much easier when they were babies. They had their own solid foods, stuff that I would never eat, like smashed peas, liquefied spinach and carrot paste.

When they got a little older and bigger, they were suspicious of new foods. And I feasted.

“Oh, you don’t think you’ll like lamb chops. That’s OK. You can have a hot dog.”

“Spaghetti with meat sauce looks icky? That’s OK. You can have a hot dog.”

“You know, bratwurst DOES sound gross. Here’s a hot dog.” (Hot dogs were the default meal in my house.)

But my wife would encourage them - ENCOURAGE THEM - to try different stuff.

“They need to broaden their palates,” she’d say. “They need a wide range of experiences.”

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