Kelly: I remember the first day that our daughter, Alwaysseemstohave Foodonherface (not her real name), ate solid food. It wasn't incredibly solid; it was that rice cereal that sort of looks and tastes like liquid paper. But it was still a monumental achievement in just about any tiny person's life. And a giant mess, because she's always wanted to be as independent as possible, no matter how unskilled she is with a spoon.

Annette: And you should probably be asking yourselves, how does my husband know what liquid paper tastes like? I'm asking myself the very same thing.

K: This solid-food stage was also the start of a thrice-daily decision-making process for the two most indecisive people ever, who used to fill their hours together asking the same question: "Where do you want to eat?"

A: This, of course, was because we somehow managed to make it pretty far into adulthood without really "cooking," but instead supporting the thriving other-people-cook-for-us industry that exists in Bismarck. But once Wigglebutton Pickypants (also not her name) came into the picture, that was no longer an option. Most restaurants worth their salt don't have liquid paper, I mean, rice cereal on their menus, so the question became not "where" to eat, but "what."

K: So we "cook" at home. And you want to create a culture of excitement and fun around eating and drinking the healthy stuff. I still get a jolt of joy through every can of pop I ingest. So it's too late for me. But when I drink a pop around my child, I smoosh up my face like I'm in pain as I drink every sip. "No, you wouldn't want any of this, honey. It's awful, just terrible. I can't believe I'm on my fifth can of this sludge!"

But when I drink water, I act super happy. "Water! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! This is so incredibly awesome!" I yell, as I sprint around the kitchen in circles.

A: Luckily, our daughter doesn't know bad acting when she sees it. Exhibit A: She loves to watch "Barney." This won't last forever, we hope. And that's good, because it's forcing us to be more thoughtful about the choices we make regarding food.

K: Little-known fact: I married my wife because she likes brussels sprouts. So do I. They're like tiny cabbages, so I like to pretend I'm a giant, using my giant-sized fork to eat and ingest puny, human-sized foods.

Now, all our genetic offspring should potentially like brussels sprouts and possess that same inflated sense of self. Score!

A: We take advantage of knowing the healthy foods we enjoy as parents, like brussels sprouts or broccoli, whole grains, fruit, etc., and sharing them with our daughter. We're establishing a menu of food choices that we all think taste good and we know are good for us. And hopefully, she doesn't pick up Kelly's taste for liquid paper.



 
Kelly Hagen and Annette Martel are local writers and married, which is certainly convenient. They're currently raising an enigmatic two-year-old daughter together and writing this co-parenting column for Be Magazine.