Help, My Kid Is A ‘Whiteatarian’ Who Only Eats Beige Food

It was parents’ weekend at my daughter’s college, and we were treating her to dinner at an off-campus bistro. The waitress arrived, and she gave her order: “I’ll have the baked salmon with a side of sauteed spinach, please.”

I dropped my menu, my jaw and the mistaken notion that I knew what this kid had been up to since we’d dropped her off a couple of months ago. I had spent most of the past 18 years trying to nudge her – sometimes gently, sometimes with growing desperation º into eating something, anything, other than noodles with butter and salt, half a bagel with plain cream cheese or – her true love –Rold Gold Tiny Twist pretzels.

The idea of fish had always made her shudder. The mere mention of “green things” like spinach could lead to tears. So what was up with her dinner order tonight? She shrugged. “They serve salmon in the dining hall sometimes, and my friends all eat it. Everybody at school likes spinach, too.”

I feigned disinterest and changed the subject, but inside I was doing the parental equivalent of a victory dance. I had relinquished my title as mother of the world’s most adamant whiteatarian, all for the low, low cost of tuition at a liberal arts college that was 1,000 miles away from home.

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