All you can eat
All you can eat
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
I had a great breakfast on Sunday. Sunday’s the day for us when we actually make an effort to cook breakfast, usually, but this past Sunday I was at a hotel. A buffet breakfast filled an entire room. My biggest regret was that my children weren’t with me, as they’d have loved filling their plates and tummies. My own belly is happy with a plateful of food and protests at anything more. Kids, now they can eat…

It makes me wonder if I’ve become too satisfied. Too willing to accept a simple plateful of life rather than wonder how many times I can fill my plate and still consume MORE.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be able to have an endless array of treats from which to sample at will, but I just can’t stuff my face with the careless disregard of a child. I can remember being a child in such situations when, after asking for thirds or fourths of a meal, I’d get stuck on the last couple of mouthfuls. “Your eyes were too big for your stomach!” my mother would declare.

At one of my son’s first birthday parties, a friend of his literally ate until she threw up, and then carried on. It was a party, so all of the usual moderation guidelines were switched off for her.

There’s something expansive about a child’s appetite. There were competitions that were run when I was a kid by companies that offered a year’s supply of whatever sweet they were advertising. My child’s brain was endlessly entertained by picturing rooms full of sweets, brightly packaged confectionery spilling out of the door. If you’d ask me to wish after blowing out a candle, I may have asked for a room full of chips, or a never-ending supply of snacks (or a tortoise, I was randomly obsessed with having one as a pet).

It’s not a weight or health thing, I just can’t consume copious amounts of food anymore. But my kids can. If I suggest that they should wait for that snack craving until after supper so that they don’t spoil their appetites, they’ll look at me as though I’m putting them on a starvation diet.

But they’re also always bouncing off the walls with energy. Dashing from one thing to the next. Burning off any morsels they eat like F1 cars leaving rubber on the track.

I was looking though some old family photos on the weekend. There was one which caught my eye: Me, my brothers and my dad at the beach in some long-forgotten summer holiday snap. My dad stands still looking relaxed while all three of his sons form a chaotic blur around him. One is skipping stones while the other two appear to be doing karate and dancing at the same time. Much like my kids are with me.

So if you ask me what I wish for now, I’d have to say more energy. A roomful of it. A room full of flashing lightning bolts of power and fuel.
All so that I can overload my plateful of life with experiences instead of politely refusing a second serving.

In the manner of kids, I’ll proclaim that I’m STARVING for life, instead of mumbling that I’m full.

What’s your favourite family treat? Tell us what you enjoy eating most with your kids and you could win a R250 voucher! Email

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