Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Sandwich Experiments

When observed in their natural habitat, one finds that a toddler is a capricious individual prone to asserting his or her power over that which he or she can control. Food is the arena over which toddlers have the most control. No, I have not gone into writing bad child psychology papers. I was snowed in and bored. So, I decided to test a hypothesis. The difference between an educated guess and the scientific method is in the testing, and what better study subject than a baby stuck at home during a snow storm. I had this theory that Belle would eat anything if in the form of a sandwich.

So it began this morning. Last night Belle had sautéed greens, sweet potato, and pinto beans and rice. It was not a major success. So, this morning after her obligatory bowl of soy yogurt, I made her a sandwich of beans and rice and green between 1 piece of wheat bread cut in half and toasted. The sandwich was a rousing success.

But, a good study must involve repeated tests of course, and so the day continued with sandwiches for each meal and snack. At lunch, we had teriyaki vegetable sandwiches (thinly sliced carrot, kohlrabi, and cabbage). Again, successful, though Belle shared her sandwich with her dog. But, these vegetables, particularly the carrots, are often a success, so I wasn’t that surprised about this one.

After naptime, I was feeling a bit caged in and ambitious, so I made French toast with soy milk and cinnamon. I cut it in half and spread soy cream cheese and jam to make a decadent sweet sandwich. I offered it with canned mango puree. While this was a success, it really added some variables to the study. Belle does not really eat a lot of sugar. She had a little with her birthday cake; she had a few sips of pomegranate juice and orange juice; and the other day she snagged a bite of the Danish that was in by bag. But, does she ever have a sweet tooth. So, this almost doesn’t even count.

For dinner, I made decided to make pasta with sauce. This used to be such a successful meal, but it has been completely out of fashion with Belle now. So, I felt this would be a real test. I used a couple capers, diced tomatoes, diced kohlrabi, diced carrots, onions, garlic and celery. The whole bit was stuffed between a piece of garlic bread (using vegan margarine.) This to be was the greatest test of the theory. It really ultimately proved that while Belle loves bread, she will eat a little that she doesn’t plan to eat. She carefully chewed around the pasta to savor a day where she got to eat twice the amount of bread that usually gets to eat.

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