We all know having children, especially your first child, is never quite like you expected. One thing about E that has always surprised me is his favourite food. He eats all the normal things kids like, fish fingers, bolognaise, sausages, and he loves fruit and most vegetables, but since he’s been old enough to express a preference there has been one thing he askes for at every meal.
Yep, not ice cream or biscuits or chips, olives. Big black ones for preference but he’ll make do with green ones if he has to. It started when he was about 14 months old and we were out for dinner at an Italian restaurant. Hubs and I were picking at some olives and trying to amuse E with some drawing while we waited for our food. Never happy to miss out when there’s food involved E abandoned the crayons and made a grab for the olives. I was sure he wouldn’t like them but faced with an impending toddler meltdown in a busy restaurant though I might as well let him try one, so passed one over and rustled around under his picture to find a napkin for him to deposit it into once he inevitably spat it out making the ‘cheese face’ (named to commemorate when at 9 months Hubs accidentally gave him cubes of extra mature farmhouse cheddar instead of his normal mild plasticy stuff and he looked like we had tried to poison him).
But we didn’t get cheese face. In fact after a brief moment to consider his position he let out a very loud and very long ‘YUUUUMMM!’ accompanied by enthusiastic hand clapping. Now admittedly olives are not the ideal toddler food, they can be salty and oily, but to my mind if a toddler actually expresses interest in any food that isn’t chocolate buttons you go with it because they can be pretty hard to please. I handed him another and them watched open mouthed as he proceeded to finish of the half dozen left on the plate. When our food arrived he also demanded I pick the olives off my pizza and add them to his and this was swiftly demolished as well.
Since then he’s eaten some virtually every day. He has them with pasta, with scrambled egg, in a wrap and even with fish fingers. Basically, with the exception of ice cream and yogurt, he’d have them with every meal if he could. Thank goodness olives are now a bit more run of the mill than they used to be and you can now get a Sainsbury’s ‘basics’ version or it would be costing us a fortune.
He’s now three and shows no sign of growing out of this phase. At least in the meantime I can feel good about the fact that his obsession is helping some small Italian olive farmer somewhere to put his kids through college.
Did one of your kids have a strange food fad? I’d love to hear how you handled it.