When you live in the South, three things are certain: death, taxes, and meal trains. If you have a baby, have surgery, have a death in the family, or even if your dog gets sick, you will probably be on the receiving end of a meal train. When hard times hit, Southern people may not know what to say, but they will bring their best lasagna. Because people gotta eat.
My husband loves when people bring us food, but I am a gluten-free vegetarian. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I have decided that my odd food habits are quirky and adorable, but I can never seem to get my husband to agree with that when we are trying to pick a restaurant and I refuse to eat Italian, Mexican, Asian, or really anything “foreign.” Not only do I have the refined palate of a toddler, but we also have four kids who are very picky eaters (I blame their dad), so I would rather spare people the effort of cooking a meal for us. But I’m pretty sure my husband would have elective surgery just to get on a meal train, so I usually end up accepting the help if it comes to that.
On the popular meal train sites, there is a place for preferences and dietary restrictions and that got me thinking: what if kids had meal trains?
In case you need a visual, I went ahead and designed one to my kids’ specifications, so you could see what I meant:
Grayson (age 10): Original picky eater–hates vegetables but will eat peas if you take off the outer layer, because pea skin makes him gag. Refuses to try carbonated beverages because they are “spicy.” Has been taking the exact same lunch to school every day since kindergarten. Meticulously picks off any seeds found on his bread.
Kendall (age 6): Vegetarian (when convenient)–loves chicken nuggets some days, randomly repulsed by them other days. Will only eat a hot dog if my friend, “Mr. Mark” prepares it. Thinks all meals end with a cliff bar. Hides peas under the couch and pretends like she doesn’t know that we don’t want her doing that.
Keller (age 6): Dramatic–loves cheese, hates cheese after it becomes melted. Will actually vomit over the smell of certain vegetables. Favorite snack is forgotten veggie straws from under the couch, even though he knows he is too old to eat that stuff. Cries if he sees vegetables being prepared in fear he may have to eat some.
Walker (age 1): Scavenger–only eats food off someone else’s plate. Known to drink the chunky milk from a long-lost sippy cup. Prefers his chicken nuggets still frozen. Can be found eating the fuzz under the refrigerator. Has never eaten a full meal but has been in the 95th percentile for height and weight since birth.
Please deliver meals before 5 pm as the oldest child starts to sweat if he thinks that food may not be coming in a timely fashion. Plan to stay for a brief visit because they enjoy circling you in the kitchen as you are setting out the food, scrutinizing the plates you selected for them, asking if it’s almost ready, and making various gagging noises whenever the spirit moves them. And please don’t take it personally if the doorbell rings while you are there, and they all run to the door yelling, “Is it the pizza man?? I KNEW you wouldn’t make us eat this weird food!”