Tell the truth: Before you had kids, you thought the world's current crop of parents was a bunch of idiots. Not only did they give their kids plastic toys and let them ride in strollers until they were practically teenagers, they also cut the crusts off their kids' sandwiches and made separate meals for every member of the family every night. What was wrong with these people? No wonder we had a diabetes epidemic on our hands, and fat kids everywhere. These damn fools were raising kids who couldn't even eat a pizza if it had a basil leaf on it. What a bunch of numbskulls.
Boy was it going to be different when I was in the driver's seat. I was going to feed my kids like a wholesome organic prairie mom. We'd be growing our own zucchini and picking blueberries from the patch I'd grow out back (yeah, in our shady Brooklyn backyard). We'd scrape the whole wheat flour drawer to make biscuits from scratch from the, uh, whole wheat flour drawer I'd create. My kids would eat shredded carrot sandwiches in whole wheat pita pockets, the way my friend Blake used to when she was a kid. They would love my homemade vegetable soups, and scarf down their lentil burgers and squash patties. Mmm, it was gonna be so great.
Then my real kids came along and messed everything up. My son wouldn't even drink juice as a toddler. It was a major triumph when he realized cake was good. Flash forward eight years, and he does like lentils with parsley and snow peas and tomatoes. He is slowly but surely shrugging off the insanity of the toddler madness years, in which different foods could not touch each other and anything green was poison. But the list of things he does not like still vastly overwhelm the select list of edibles.
Yeah, that's great and all, but it's too little too late. Now I have two kids, and between my son's dislike of rice and chicken, my daughter's dislike of tomatoes and corn and my husband's and my dislike of Annie's Macaroni and Cheese and Amy's Pizza Snacks, we are sort of in a bind.
The only solution: the mothership meal.