History Repeats Itself as Son Inherits a Taste for Refusing All Food; Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Dalby

THEY say that what goes around comes around. It's certainly true for me when it comes to the worry of your child refusing to eat.

When I was little, I had a repertoire of just four acceptable foodstuffs: tomato soup (Heinz and only Heinz), lemon jelly, orange Munch Bunch yoghurts, and Pizzaland pizza with the cheese scraped off.

To be perfectly honest, my adult tastes aren't much broader. I began a passionate love affair with curry in my teens and this now extends to virtually anything spicy. I'm also keen on lentils, chickpeas and nuts, often in combinations that I consider taste sensations but which a good friend recently described as resembling the contents of a dustpan.

But I don't eat meat, or any dairy except yoghurt and ice cream. I particularly He now regards to feed him combination pity abhor cheese. The smell of cheese cooking can send me shuddering from a room. I once arrived at a boyfriend's home to find his flatmate grilling mushrooms with Stilton; I crept away and vomited quietly but effusively out of a window.

Butter also dismays me. Once, in Venice, to the dismay of my dining companion who was about to propose, I tipped a plateful of spaghetti into a plastic bag to dispatch into the nearest bin after I left the restaurant because the noodles had been tossed in butter before the sauce was added.

It probably comes as no surprise, having digested those anecdotes, to learn that my dietary idiosyncrasies have made me a figure of fun both at work and at play.

My friends and family scrutinise restaurant menus for their "Helen-friendly" properties ahead of making a booking, and I've attended meetings where I've been presented with a comedy plate of grapes because none of the sandwiches are acceptable.

So it stood to reason that my little boy would be the same. When I first started weaning him, it seemed that history wasn't to repeat itself: he wolfed everything I gave him, with gusto and a big grin. …


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