The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #63: Kids Eat … What?!

When I was a kids, my mom would trick me into eating vegetables by sculpting a face out of tuna salad and decorating it with tomatoes, carrots, and celery (with Mr. Potato Head glasses as a final touch, of course). I tried doing this for my own daughter decades later, and while she rejects the tuna salad face, she likes to build houses out of American cheese.

I liked it, I swear!

I liked it, I swear!

Sasha says it tastes better when the chimney has smoke

Sasha says it tastes better when the chimney has smoke

Whenever Sasha comes up with a new food idea (think: oatmeal crammed into a yogurt squeezer), and I give her a skeptical look, she tells me to ask my “food friend” what he thinks. My food friend is Dan Pashman, who hosts the wonderful podcast The Sporkful.

Here's Dan obsessing over potato chips

Here’s Dan obsessing over potato chips

Dan’s whole approach to talking about food is to focus on eating strategy—to maximize deliciousness in every bite. For example, when Dan was on tour for his book Eat More Better, he did a demo with Oreo cookies.

Dan says if you eat it this way, you'll mostly just taste cookie

Dan says if you eat it this way, you’ll mostly just taste cookie

But if you eat it this way, with the frosting on your tongue, you'll get to taste more frosting

But if you eat it this way, with the frosting on your tongue, you’ll get to taste more frosting

Sasha saw Dan do his Oreo demo when he was at a bookstore in our town, and she was really into it. I think she was amazed to see a grownup playing with his food in the same way that she does.

Before kids learn their culture’s eating rules, they make up their own. And some of their eating habits can seem pretty weird to us adults. So we asked you to call in* your kids’ weirdest food creation, and we brought in Dan to give us his thoughts on those creations. In this episode, I also reveal to Dan my own weird food hangup that I’ve had since childhood.

*Many of you used our app to call in your answers. We change up the question every other week, and use our favorite answers on the show! Download the app here. And if you don’t have an iPhone, we always welcome answers via email. Just record your name, where you’re calling from, and answer our burning question.

We KNOW you’ve got amazing pictures of your kids eating!
Dig up your faves or take new ones and post them to Twitter or Instagram with #kideaters. We’ll share the best ones on this blog!

Top photo: Richard Frank; Dan Pashman analyzing potato chips photo: Lilia Cretcher