Friday, 28 May 2010

The war of the peas...

There's a book by Kes Gray called 'Eat Your Peas' about Daisy, a little girl who does not like peas and won't eat them.

Her mother, desperate to persuade Daisy to eat the little green legume, promises her daughter ever more extravagant gifts from extra pudding to a pony and even a chocolate factory.

I am that mother. I have a Daisy.

"I don't like peas," says H8 at meal times.

"But peas like you," I tell her. "Eat up."

She pushes them around her plate and eats one - the smallest - grudgingly.

What is it with peas? Peas are delicious. The guinea pigs don't eat peas. They'll eat celery which astonishes my two children immensely. They may even try it themselves. (Actually they did: R6 liked it.) Guinea pigs are excellent role models. But they won't eat peas.

I have tried hiding them in food. Carrot can be grated and hidden as can other root vegetables (with the exception of beetroot which has a habit of revealing itself in even the minutest concentrations and anyway I don't like beetroot).

Peas won't be hidden. A pea is a pea no matter how you try to dress it up.

I thought all children loved peas. I know grown men who don't eat vegetables, but will eat peas. I've seen peas in cat food tins in France, which confirms the fact that French cats are possibly quite strange. Mice, oui. Petit pois? Oui!

H8 won't eat garden peas (frozen or fresh) or petit pois (ditto). Mangetout, perhaps. But only small ones. Pea shoots? Grudgingly.

There is one vegetable, however, hated almost universally by children (adults too) across the globe that she adores. Brussels sprouts.

We were in Tesco in Carmarthen. H8 spotted sprouts.

"Can I have some sprouts Mummy?"

Me, consulting list, brain elsewhere: "No. They're not on my list." (It's a rule, if it's not on the list, we don't get to buy it. This is especially useful in Dangerous Places such as Biscuits, Confectionery or Frozen Desserts, but sometimes I have to surreptitiously add things like toilet rolls to the list unobserved.)

"Oh pleeeese," whines H8 attracting the attention of a woman pushing her trolley towards other brassicas.

"No," I repeat. There's a budget to be adhered to as well.

H8: "I want sprouts."

Me on autopilot: "I want never gets." (I want to slap myself when I say that too.)

H8, like the sweetest, well-mannered little child on the planet: "Please Mummy may I have some sprouts." Woman with Trolley in Brassicas is watching with open interest now.

Me: "Oh go on then."

H8 snatches a bag and starts counting sprouts into it. Maths and good nutrition all in one. Woman with Trolley in Brassicas stifles a snigger in the cauliflowers.

She still won't eat peas. She already has a pony. I'm saving for the chocolate factory.


  1. Eat Your Peas is the first book that G8 ever bought herself, a few years ago. It is fantastic. I don't like peas (only mushy) & nor does G8 but we both like sprouts!

  2. Have them plant peas, tend them, pick them and help cook them, maybe that will work. Peas are my favorite!

  3. Lins: Yes, she'll eat mushy ones too. You are both as mad as us!

    Mac n' Janet: We've done that (with mangetout and pea shoots) - it works a little, but then she prefers to eat them raw from the pod in the garden (which is fine, of course!).

  4. Dylan hates peas too; but then he loves carrot. I don't worry; Jane does.

    And as for sprouts - food of the dark one; never , never , never.

  5. Love this - been there: children (three), grandchildren (nine), husband (one); we all have our foibles, and food fads, but I always enjoy your anecdotes. Have you grown red brussels sprouts? A.

  6. We smother things in mayo or tomato ketchup to disgusie the tatse. It helps that I don't like tomatoes but will eat them if sprouts. The Boy eats them raw....

  7. I shouldnt worry middle once lived on a diet of chicken refusing to eat anything else, Sensible Docotor said leave him be don't make a fuss and he wil coem around to eating other things when his body needs it. He did and now eats like a true French gourmand and is a strapping lad taller almost than me. You could always liquidize peas and add them to your sauce or gravy but why bother jsut let her eat sprouts!

  8. Well, fancy that! I have one who didn't eat peas too! What is it about poor innocent peas? Brussells on the other hand are quite evil!

  9. I call brussel sprouts Little Green Balls of Death.... (LGBD), perhaps your daughters are just a little smaller than mine! :)


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