Cheeseburgers in Paradise…a tale of cheeseburgers, breadburgers and Bobby

Oh my gosh…so much is happening in our kitchen lately! And it’s happening so fast that I barely have time to blog about all of it. The long and short of it: MY KIDS ARE ACTUALLY BECOMING ADVENTUROUS EATERS! Can you believe that? I know we have much more work to do, but trust me on this. If you have a kid who eats just five foods only, don’t despair. Get working on changing that routine and give it time. Lots of time…and no expectations. Just let him or her come to the table and then allow curiosity to take over. I promise you that one day instinctive curiosity will change everything.

So here’s what just happened. As we were heading out to the suburbs on July 4th to celebrate the holiday with our family, my son Bobby said to me, “Mom, I want to try a cheeseburger.” Since we were bringing steak to the Independence Day event, I figured he would be eating steak for dinner. So I asked him, “Do you want to go to Shake Shack one day?” Shake Shack is a famous burger joint here in Manhattan that one of Bobby’s best buddies frequents. It’s also right near our apartment. I figured this might be why he was asking. But no, he said he wanted me to make a burger for him and add some cheese. Simple enough. I said I would do that.

Well, as it turned out, I didn’t have to! In addition to steak with chimichurri sauce for our July 4th celebratory dinner, my sister also made cheeseburgers and hot dogs. Not exactly my choice of fare; I wanted the steak! But I seized the moment and asked Bobby if he wanted to split a burger with his cousin.  And, as you might be guessing, he said yes. He then proceeded to eat the entire burger (well, his half)!

Note to fanatic moms and dads: The ground beef was only 80% lean and the burger was served on a white bun with American cheese…a bona fide “sometimes” food. But never mind the ingredients, I was none the less happy because he tried it…and actually ate it. This is a serious, positive accomplishment for Bobby! My hubby and I were sitting at a different table elbowing each other to acknowledge (and cheer the fact) that he was trying new foods. Of course, we played it as cool as possible by not making a scene about it with him or in front of others.

This is just one recent change we’ve noted with unabashed admiration—embracing new foods is a giant step our little guys have taken along their way to becoming “big” boys. What pleasure it gives us to see them feel confident enough to explore different foods. I guess miracles do happen! Or perhaps it’s just time, patience, and constant exposure.

But then…the adventurous new world of food exploration screeched to a complete stop! On Sunday this past week, thinking I would make Bobby a healthier cheese burger, I bought 90% lean grass-fed beef as well as ground white chicken. I made tacos for my hubby and me, but figured it was safer to give Bobby the ground meat in cheeseburger form. And of course, because I’m not perfect, I didn’t think about getting hamburger buns. So, I just confidently placed his burger on whole wheat bread. Bobby said: “This is not a cheeseburger. This is a breadburger. Cheeseburgers come on rolls.  I do not eat breadburgers!” And that was that! We were right back at square one (not really). Bobby made himself a bowl of cereal and his burger was never eaten. He did take one bite and then told me it was awful. But as I’m writing this now, I’m still smiling because it’s truly funny to watch my son be so dramatic and so picky, yet so sweet and brave.

The story does not end here though. Next week, you can read about our family date night! Mexican food is on the menu! What will my boys eat?

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