Sunday, August 9, 2009

PLAY With Your Food!

In church today, I saw a little girl eating Cheetos.

First, I was driven mad by the fact that a) really? Cheetos? and b) they were so loud during the service. But as I watched her eating her cheesy snack one nibble (a rather loud crunch, really) at a time, truly enjoying each tasty morsel, I found myself remembering a time so many years ago when I really tasted a Cheeto.

Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty o' Cheetos in my day. I mean, have you read my other posts? Clearly I've partaken of a Cheeto or a million. But when I eat something like that now, I mindlessly inhale them. Like my snack mix the other night. Watching So You Think You Can Dance, I nearly polished off a honey-flavored snack mix bag that had seven servings in it! Did I really taste the honey-baked goodness? Not so much.

I find myself constantly harping at my son to stop playing with his food. He wiggles a french fry, pretending it's chasing his carrot. He dangles a donut from his finger and and nibbles around and around until he breaks through to the hole in the center. {Yes, we're trying to get away from donuts and french fries altogether these days!}

But in the time that he has taken to enoy a donut, I could physically polish off four and not really even taste them. On the rare occasion that I would take him to the donut store, he would pick out one cake donut and a few donut holes. I, on the other hand, would select a muffin, a croissant, a cinnamon roll and maybe a whipped-topping delight. Don't panic... the muffin was for my husband.

By the time my carb-laden delights were history, my son would be mostly through his one donut, and might have picked up one donut hole. But he would always leave something behind. And I can guarantee that he enjoyed his breakfast way more than I enjoyed mine.

So I think I need to figure out how to get back to playing with my food. I can remember my mom giving me a pack of Starburst candy on a road trip. Instead of eating it, I would unwrap one of each color at a time and use it like Play-Doh. I'd make a penguin, a turtle, a caterpillar ... and then eat each creation one at a time. The candy could last me for a couple hundred miles. A pack of Starburst now would last me about eight minutes, and that's being generous because of the occasional wrapping snafu.

So come on, peeps ... PLAY with your food! Enjoy it! Savor it! Take your own sweet time with it! And maybe by the time you're done with one tiny little thing, you'll have gotten your fill and your brain will be alert enough to tell your mouth to shut itself.

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