The Parents' Guide to Eating
the Sink


The Parents' Guide to Eating
the Sink

All parents worry about whether or not their kids are getting enough nutrients and if they’re learning good table manners. (We’ve got a Google+ Hangout on that topic coming up soon!) But the truth is, once you have kids, your eating habits tend to go down the drain, too. We eat whatever’s lying around—including manhandled and mouthed leftovers from our children’s plates. We scarf down animal crackers while hiding in the pantry. Even if we’re eating what we actually want to be eating, we gobble it down over the sink. But is there a way to still get enjoyment from meals when you have young kids?

I don’t know anyone who thinks more about eating technique than Dan Pashman of the Sporkful podcast. Here he is analyzing potato chips.

Dan and I recently got together to confess the embarrassing ways we’ve been eating as parents, and he gave me some tips on how to make those bites over the sink as delicious as possible. But as you might be able to tell from my face in the picture below, our ideas about what constitutes delicious don’t always match.


food-ball-squareHINT ON WHAT GROSSED ME OUT:

(Above) That’s a plate of water, for dipping graham crackers—which, yes, he fed to me. And, according to Dan, is yummier than a dry graham cracker.

(Left) That’s one of Dan’s “food-ball” concoctions, which he gathered from his one-year-old’s high chair tray. This one is a blueberry, pear & peanut butter puffs combo. Another of his favorites: meatloaf encrusted with peas.

More Dan Pashman

Despite Dan’s iffy parental eating habits, the eating tips he offers on the Sporkful actually ARE delicious. I found this episode on Belgian waffles so mouth-watering that I Tweeted at him that I wanted a waffle in my mouth that instant—and to my great surprise, he overnighted one to my door. And this video on how to eat wings is one of my favorite things I’ve watched on the internet.

Dan has a book coming out in the fall called Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.

How do YOU eat with your kids?
Do you eat with them? Alone? In bed? Leave your parental eating confessions in the comments!

Potato chip photo: Lilia Cretcher

9 thoughts on “EPISODE #34: The Parents’ Guide to Eating Over the Sink

  1. This episode was an explosion of my two favorite podcasts! Thank you for joining forces. Encore! Encore! Love the food ball idea. My husband and I also play the “best part” “worst part” of your day game and find it helps in opening up adults too.

  2. Where do bits of food picked off of your child fall in the hierarchy? I maybe ate some scrambled egg bits off of my daughter yesterday morning – in my defense there wasn’t a trash nearby! She’s 6 months old and still working on that hand eye coordination thing.

  3. Confession: As my son was nursing at bedtime, I dropped a forkful of spaghetti (with sauce) on his cheek. He didn’t seem to mind, and so as not to disturb him, I went ahead and polished off the remainders. Mother-of-the-year award, perhaps not!

  4. This episode was hilarious!! I LOVED the hierarchy…. and was relieved to know that I’m not the only mom who, while eating a salad, salivates over my daughter’s buttery grilled cheese, hoping that she’ll get bored with it quickly.

  5. I LOVED this episode! I was just thinking of it yesterday as I was trying to silently eat barbecue potato chips in the kitchen without my son noticing. Pretty soon he ran in and I had to shove them back into the cupboard! Ah the ninja like stealthiness of parents trying to hide food from their kids!

  6. Not long after my son was born, he and I were between follow up appointments at the hospital, so I went to grab a quick bite at a cafe. I was happily eating my lunch – a delicious mix of cold grain and veggie salads – when my newborn son who I thought would stay asleep in the Moby forever, woke with a start, bumping my hand, thus dumping a forkful of couscous, beets, and other veg down his back and into the Moby. I felt completely inadequate when the dr. noticed the beet stains on him and questioned if he was bleeding. Me being me, admitted to spilling food on his head. The dr. continued to be horrified as I licked my finger and wiped the remaining beet juice stains and couscous off him.

  7. Loved this! What gets me is when I buy my daughter a snack and I ask for a bite, but she gives me the teensiest piece possible. It gets me so annoyed, because I just overpaid for that food and she won’t share. I could wait for her to possibly give up on it, but then it won’t taste as good.

  8. When you spoke about your dinner conversations with your daughter, it reminded me of a game we used to play when I worked in restaurants. We’d sit down after a dinner shift and play “Happy Crappy” to talk about the evening over a beer or a glass of wine. I still play this with my restaurant girlfriends when we get together <3

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