When you imagine eating an apple, what comes to mind? For most of you, I’m sure, it’s an image of taking the first bite out of a lovely crisp apple. That’s certainly my favourite way to eat them.
If you were to ask my kids to describe eating an apple, however, their image would be of slices. Sometimes even peeled slices. One clichéd image of decadence is of a reclined emperor having his grapes peeled and fed to him. It hasn’t quite come to that, but for my kids, fruit usually comes sliced.
This month Carol proposed the topic of how we spoil or indulge our kids, and I was thinking about what to write as I was packing the kids’ lunches. (Should the eldest be packing his own? He’s 11. Am I spoiling him?) I always slice fruit for their lunches; I never put in the whole fruit–pear, apple, peach, nectarine–because I know that most of it will not get eaten that way. With fruit slices, what does not get eaten comes back home, and I can tell exactly how much they’ve had. Give them the whole fruit, and they can just toss it when they’ve had a few bites.
That’s my justification for slicing it for lunches, but, to be honest, I do the same at home. And in the car. And even on long walks. I take along a sharp knife, and I slice fruit. If I can’t get the kid to eat the whole pear, at least I can get a few slices into him.
Well, this weekend, I decided to just pack the whole apple. No knife. We sat down to eat our snacks after a walk, and the two youngest (4 and 7) looked at the apples as if to say, “What do you want me to do with this?” We were in the process of crossing some things off of our National Trust bucket list, but I felt decidedly dysfunctionally urban in the face of their puzzled, and, frankly, pissed off, responses to being handed whole fruit. My husband offered to take the first bite to get them started. Then he had to eat the peel off of the apple for Mr. Fussy Eater. Sigh.
It was only when I thought about this topic that I realized it: I’m raising fruit divas…