May 302007

Don’t Point That Menu at My Child, Please – New York Times:
I really enjoyed this article, which (if the NYT has expired it from public view, is about the growing movement against the concept of a special kid’s menu which seems to be frequently filled with chicken fingers and fries). It makes a lot of sense to me. Not from a parent’s perspective (because I’ve still got a decent bit of time before I’ll be a parent, unless fate intervenes), but from the perspective of someone who’s just tired of the dumbing-down of culture in general. Kids have taste buds that work just as well as adults; why not give ’em stuff that will be tasty, but not “taste like chicken” (to steal an overly-clichéd phrase)?

It’s my sincere hope that when I have children in the not-so-distant future, they’ll be encouraged (nay, required) to eat what the rest of the family is eating, or if at a restaurant, at least to eat something that fits with the cuisine. Heck, it’s what I did when I was growing up (mostly), and aside from an irrational dislike of salads which I finally overcame when I hit college, I turned out just fine.

A little too fine, if the scales have anything to say, but at least I’m comfortable trying any food at least once (and lots of ’em more than once). I probably won’t eat sea urchin again any time soon, but at least I tried it in the first place. It was an experience more satisfying (to the culinary soul, if I may be poetic) than a box of Chicken McNuggets® could ever be.

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