Last week, when one of my kid’s was looking peaky, I put together a wholesome tomato soup. Using plentiful onions and garlic, peppers of all colours, the sneaky courgette which she hates and a wealth of juicy tomatoes. The end result was brimming over with anti-oxidants. The red split lentils were cooked well for the best level of camouflage and herbs were snipped into fragments.
To make it further appealing, I cut up fat wedges of her favourite bread and produced some garlicky croutons to go with. But not too many as, of course, the bread is the first thing to go at the detriment of soup eating.
So we were enjoying our soup, engaged in some hearty family conversation, when the croutons run out. A grown up member of the family reached into the pantry to grab half a bag of cheesy Doritos which had been stealthily stashed behind the bread-bin. The contraband is then passed around the table for dipping purposes.
For me, this is a profane move: it’s like swearing in church. Of course, my own expletives remained behind closed lips. It was one of those occasions when differing foodie values can become a problem, if allowed. However, we need to strike a balance, so I went with it. Certainly not indulging in the experience but happy that we could all share our often bizarre meal time habits without friction.
I haven’t heard the words 'can we have Cheesy Doritos and tomato soup again for dinner’ yet, so hoping we got away with it as a one off. Family disagreements over how the kids should eat can often cause friction. It’s important not to argue them out in front of the kids as this then creates association of negativity around meal-times. We all have to accept each others quirky ways and one- offs such as this can easily be ironed out with a bit of laughter and discussion after the event. Kids will often latch on to a contraband food as they think it’s a bit naughty which, as we know, is wildly appealing.
So a bit of what you fancy is all good. Dipping crisps in soup and other extra-ordinary behaviour is only deemed as strange because we don’t culturally do this (as far as I’m aware, though do correct me if I’m wrong!) Meal-times should be fun. It’s back to the adage from a previous post, life is about ‘respect for others, food and love’. Let’s strike a balance between what is culturally normal whilst being creative around food.
I must add that the remaining Doritos were pushed lovingly to the depths of the bin!