Toddler Tapas

I was moving through our house this morning feeling like a waiter, picking up stray cups and bowls, some empty, but most containing various foods with small bites taken out here and there, as if the eater was sampling the dishes and writing down comments in some tiny notebook. The diner in question here is no ordinary food critic, but rather my 2 1/2 year old daughter, and her mealtimes lately have been multi-course, entertainment extravaganzas.

So, usually we only sit down as a family for dinner, which has become shorter and shoter lately. Breakfasts and lunches have always been more dynamic – “Sorry dad, no time to talk, there’s a Dora the Explorer episode on at 9:00am, followed by some dollhouse playing at 10:00am, some Duplos at 10:30am, and a serious cooking session in my play kitchen at 11:00am. Throw in a random burst of running through the house, some riding around on my play bus, a book here and there, not to mention a diaper change, trip to the potty, and change of clothes and, well, you can see how I don’t have any time to eat.”

She’s got a good point, even though she doesn’t actually SAY that. But being loving parents who care about her health, my wife and I have tried to keep her eating when we can, trying different foods, and so we come to why all the bowls and cups are scattered about the house. And then it dawned on me that this could possibly be the next big niche in fine dining: Toddler Tapas! Ahem, please pass the gazpacho.

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