Diet incentive

When we want burritos, I soak the beans the night before, grate the cheese, and roll my own tortillas.  I bake honey-sweetened, vegetable-packed muffins at least twice a week.  We weaned our kids off frozen waffles by buying a waffle maker; my husband mixes waffle batter every few days.  From scratch.  I bake bread twice a week.  We work hard to minimize the processed foods our children intake.

So, perhaps you will be surprised to learn that nothing would make my middle child happier than to eat twelve hotdogs a day.  He adores pepperoni pizza, but he eats only the pepperoni, leaving the denuded and pockmarked remains of his feast in his wake.  When we go out to breakfast, he wants sausage and pancakes.  He eats the sausage, ignores the pancakes, and starts looking around the restaurant for bits of sausage left on other people’s plates.

He really likes encased meats.

Benjamin eats other things, too.  He likes broccoli and apples and tofu and Peking duck and pretty much any other food with the not-hard-and-fast exception of spaghetti and Brussels sprouts.  Other than his hotdog fetish, he’s a pretty healthy little eater.

His food vocabulary is remarkable, and if you list three ingredients, he’ll tell you what to make with them.  Food is his thing.  He loves food, and it loves him back.  He is such a good eater that sometimes, when we lift his solid little body, we groan and joke, “You’re getting so heavy.  I think we’re going to have to stop giving you so much food.”  The child eats carrots in front of the television and every now and then requests cashews for lunch.

But his first, great love will always be encased meats.

Today, as I lifted my three-and-a-half year old to carry him over the deep slush to the car, he put his arms around my neck and murmured into my ear.  “I want to stop eating ‘cased meats.”


“Yes,” he answered.  “Because I want you to keep lifting me up.”

17 responses to “Diet incentive

  1. Aw :-). Here’s another incentive- hot dogs are a serious choking hazard. (But I’ve got nothing for pepperoni.)

  2. Well, my little guy might ALWAYS be big enough to pick up, at this rate. But, it is amazing how quick they catch on 🙂

  3. Aw, sweet little fella.

  4. He should move to Chicago! I never ate much in the way of encased meats until I moved here, but they are EVERYWHERE and such a part of the culture.

  5. that just choked me up and I haven’t eaten any encased meats, I will have you know….well today.

  6. If my sausage loving son is any indication, the need to eat huge portions of sausage & pepperoni (& bacon) will slow down soon. As a toddler Henry once ate a pound of bacon as a snack. Henry ate everything and lots of it at 3.5. Now that he’s five, his appetite has leveled off. He still puts away some eggs & apples though.

  7. You’re the parental pizza dough to his beloved pepperoni, carryin’ it on home. What a sweet moment.

  8. Oh. The sweet strength of that boy just takes my breath away.

    He is going to slay them in the aisles in eight to ten years, you know.

  9. What a sweet (and smart) son. Don’t let him get on the internet–he might find– Spanish encased meats are sooooo addictively yummy.

  10. Or you could just send him to Spain, where encased meats (chorizo, fuet, salchichón, butifarra, lomo embuchado…) are practically a sacrament! I was never really into them before I came here, but now I’ve developed a real taste for them Good thing no one wants to lift me up anymore…

  11. Cased meats…that is SO CUTE.

  12. Kate-you’re in Spain? So jealous. I bought my husband some lomo (iberico de bellota no less!!!) for his birthday in December. We’ll be back in sunny Spain in June and I am already dreaming about the chorizo, fuet, salchichón, butifarra, lomo embuchado…

  13. Cased meat? Ack, that’s cute.

  14. That is friggin’ charming.

    Another term for “encased meats”, like a hotdog, is “emulsified forcemeat”.

  15. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!!