Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Just call him Popeye

A recent study showed that spinach and blueberries improve the mental abilities of rats.

And now, across the land, small children are screaming, "No! Not spinach! I'd rather be stupid!"

They'll be happy to know that the study had mostly to do with reversing the decline in mental abilities that comes with aging (and now adults across the land are screaming, "No! Not spinach! I'd rather be stupid!"). But there's one small boy -- my own -- who would be happy for any additional excuse to eat the green stuff. He already knows it makes him strong like Popeye. Smarter's okay, too.

My son has always had a taste for things you'd expect a kid to push away. Broccoli rabe. Green olives. Vegetables of all varieties, especially cauliflower and broccoli. Conversely, he pushes away the stuff most kids crave: Cake, ice cream, chocolate. Smart, indeed.

I'm not the only one who's noticed this. Recently, it's come to my attention that his classroom aide from last year has been giving him food at lunchtime. I thought it was odd that it always seemed to be vegetables or other unlikely things: pasta salad one day, two trays of corn the next. And then I realized -- she's giving him the hot lunch items that the kids in her group won't touch. That's my boy, school garbage disposal. I think she just gets a kick out of seeing a kid dig into that stuff.

I'd tell you more, but I have to go get him his breakfast. His new favorite morning meal is cottage cheese and spinach. Weird kid. But smart.

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