Bubble and Squeak – Picky Eaters

What my kids used to eat was peanut butter on crackers, pasta with parmesan, yoghurt, but only banana flavored. The dinner table was a landscape of beige.
I pushed broccoli for a while, saying, “You could pretend you are a T.Rex eating a tree!”

T. Rexes are meat-eaters, Mom.”

“Oh, that’s right.”


Me again: “What about a Brontosaurus?”

“Who wants to be an herbivore?” They said.  The dinosaurs were not on my side.

One night, after trying many different methods: the your granddad loves broccoli, the little Stevie across the street who gave you his old bike likes carrots, I became aggravated and blurted out, “You know, in this country called France, children eat frogs.”

That was it. I had them.

“What else do they do in France?”

“Well, it’s a very special place. People sit in their seats at dinner, even the children…and they have this thing called ‘conversation’ and they eat frogs and stinky cheese and the mashed livers of geese.”

“Stinky cheese!” They said in unison. “Conversation!” “Mashed livers of geese!”

“I doubt your brave enough to try it.” I angled.

“We are! We are!” So I went out and bought a big wheel of St. Nectaire and they were absolutely convulsed that it was as stinky as I said, and I said one of the things we could have a conversation about was other stinky things and we sat at the table talking for 15 minutes, a record for us.

“Let’s be French again tomorrow, Mom.”

D’accord,” I said.

“Does that mean okay?

“That means okay, but the thing is the French love broccoli.”

They considered. Finally, they said, “Okay. We’ll eat broccoli…if we can have it with the mashed livers of geese!”

That night, my husband turned to me in bed and said, “That was masterful. Somehow you incorporated parenting, international relations, cultural relativism…and nutrition.”

“Really,” I said. “I deserve a bon bon.”

FnS Food Columnist Elizabeth Bastos is a SAHM of two under five. She used to work in corporate and foundation relations, and before that, as a writer for the Museum of Science, Boston. Now she moonlights, writing, and in her free time, she cooks complicated French pastries to tempt her children into doing what she asks. http://www.goodybastos.blogspot.com/


  1. Priceless! I am amazed at how many kids won’t anything that doesn’t resemble a chicken finger and mac and cheese out of a box. The Kiddo is too picky for my liking, but a positive foodie when compared to other kids.

    I once was completely befuddled by a friend of hers we had over for dinner. The child loved spaghetti and marinara sauce, and she loved chicken fingers. I so thought I had a win by making chicken parmesan.

    Nope. The Kiddo’s friend couldn’t handle the chicken and the spaghetti TOUCHING. I was relieved and heartened to see The Kiddo look at her friend as if she were slightly looney.

  2. SO gonna use this tonight. I’m off to the fromagerie as we speak.

  3. Brilliant! I love the whole reverse psychology with a twist thing going on here. I guess all you have to do is put something gross and stinky in front of kids if you want them to do something.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marney Kirk and Marney Kirk, Elizabeth Bastos. Elizabeth Bastos said: http://funnynotslutty.com/?p=1203 <–in which I discuss stinky French cheese as a #parenting method [...]

  5. LucyDCster says:

    Great writing, Elizabeth!

  6. Thanks for not only taking the time to write this, but to even improve the information by making it easy to read and understand. Words cannot convey my gratitude.

  7. great site :D I’m totally looking forward to reading more :)

  8. Excellent i adore this amazing place relating to fromage

  9. I made a little movie about this, would you consider taking a look at it and maybe leaving your opinion about it? I put the video url in the “website” field so hopefully you can access it. thanks!


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marney Kirk and Marney Kirk, Elizabeth Bastos. Elizabeth Bastos said: http://funnynotslutty.com/?p=1203 <–in which I discuss stinky French cheese as a #parenting method [...]

  2. [...] Bubble and Squeak – Picky Eaters « Female Comedians, Funny Women Bloggers, Funny Videos … [...]

Speak Your Mind