Raising a Man of Taste

Thomas is not a picky eater–he will eat chicken feed, goat feed, cow feed, and cat feed indiscriminately without pretense or shame. I guess it serves me right: I was secretly hoping Thomas would enjoy helping me do farm chores, but instead of helping me feed the farm animals, he mostly just helps himself to the farm animal’s feed. In the process of trying to deter my son from binging on calf starter pellets, I’ve learned that explaining to a toddler why he shouldn’t eat feed meant for other species is a task that should only be undertaken by someone with a Ph.D in logic. Toddler logic is the hardest logic to defeat.

ME: No, no, we don’t eat goat feed.

THOMAS: eat! eat!

ME: “No, it’s the goats time to eat, we just ate. Thomas, stop!”

THOMAS: [grinning with a goat pellet hanging from his lip] time to eat!

ME: “No, goat feed is yucky!”

THOMAS: “No yucky–yummy!”

In the barn, we have three big plastic  trash cans that serve as feed bins to contain the livestock’s vittles. They also serve as Thomas’ buffet line. Of course, the easiest way to keep marauding pests out of feed bins is to shoot them, but you can’t really do that with toddlers (at least you can’t in the South–gun culture is so strong here, the toddlers would likely shoot back). 

And honestly, I’m not sure if I really want to deter Thomas’s adventures with taste. It’s not like he’s only eating highly processed animal feed, he is also developing quite a fondness for farm fresh salads, in particular a fresh orchardgrass/fescue mix which he shoves into his mouth while toddling through the pasture. Anyway, my theory is that if he eats grass as a toddler, he’ll eat broccoli as a teenager. I’ll report back in 11 years.

Thomas caught with hand in cookie jar.

9 thoughts on “Raising a Man of Taste

  1. Free range feeding. My son did the same as a toddler and grew up eating everything put in front of him except cucurbits. Still does, though he raids the fridge not the chicken bins now when visiting.

  2. Critter feed is probably healthier than the cereal he will scarf down on a regular basis one day. Take it from me, when he is a teenager and you take a look at your grocery bill, you’ll wish you could get away with feeding him a few bags of goat feed.

    1. Good point, and with the way inflation is going at grocery store, it won’t be long until a 20 ounce box of cereal cost the same as 50 pound bag of goat feed.

  3. Oh the joys of parenting! Our 19 year old loved eating the dog food when she was a toddler; she would prefer eating their food over hers. And the dogs, extremely offended, looked at me to save them from her pilfering. My father-in-law is a veterinarian and he assured me it was perfectly ok.

    1. Yes, when we go to visit my parents, who have a dog, we’ve found Thomas trying to drink out of his water bowl. Water is better than coke, I suppose.

  4. Nothing there is likely to kill him, after all – and it’s a good way to get lots of fiber without a lot of refined sugar!

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