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An Open Letter To Broccoli

As her toddler develops more fussy eating habits, Evelyn Lewin is grateful she still eats broccoli...

Dear Broccoli, Hi there. I never thought I’d write to you but here I am, reduced to the old fashioned act of letter writing in order to convey my feelings. Before we go any further, I feel I need to be honest with you. I was never a big fan of you myself. Sorry. But now, dear broccoli, my feelings have changed. You see, recently, you made your way onto a very select list and you are actually my favourite member of that list. That’s right, you are now officially a Food My Toddler Will Eat (FMTWE). I’ve never had a fussy eater before (don’t worry, I’m ducking while I write that as I can only imagine the hordes of lightly-nibbled-but-tossed-away tomatoes that are currently being hurled my way). But my delicious little toddler is starting to assert herself as a bit of a fussy wee one. And yes, she has a list of foods she deems acceptable. Unfortunately, that list is teensy weensy tiny, and would not impress any dietitians. It also doesn’t impress me, her mother. Food that I lovingly prepare is tossed aside like dirty kitty litter, meal after meal. My toddler cares not for the love, nutrients or tears of determination with which I season her food. No, if the food is not on her pre-approved list (FMTWE), she will simply zip those little lips of hers shut. Which brings me back to you, darling broccoli. For some unknown, you are now on this list. I’m not quite sure how you made it there. Was there a glitch in the system? Did my toddler not realise that you are in fact a vegetable, and an often-hated one at that? Pfft, why am I even bothering questioning how you made it to the list? You’re there, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I must warn you though, dear broccoli, not to get too comfortable with your position. While your place on the list is currently stable, it’s in no way guaranteed. Come tomorrow you may be tossed aside quicker than you can say ‘root vegetable’. It seems like every day more and more members of the FMTWE list are dropping like flies. And it always seems to be the best things that go. What is it they say about good guys finishing last? The most recent item to be ditched was spaghetti bolognaise, and its fall from grace wasn’t pretty, let me tell you. There was pasta everywhere, globby bits of meat on the floor and a very disgruntled toddler. At least spag bol had a good run. So good, in fact, that I was lulled into thinking it was a permanent member on the list. I actually thought it had a chance of being President of the list. Alas, ‘twas not to be. No one could have foreseen how quickly spag bol would transition from the FMTWE list to the FMTCS (Food My Toddler Can’t Stand) list. But stay positive, little broccoli. You never know, you may hold your spot for a while longer. If not, I can only hope your position is taken over by another vegetable. Yours truly, The mother of a toddler