My friends know that when the eventual zombie apocalypse occurs, they should head to my house. Why? Because I’ll have a stocked pantry waiting for them. I’m a “Food Mom” (or, as my people say, a Jewish Mother). If you come to my house, I won’t offer you food — I will bring it out and insist you eat it. Even when I lived in Brooklyn, the Land of No Storage, I converted one of the few closets we had into a pantry.
But, as much as I love to share, there are a few things in my house that you’re better off not eating. Wait … what? Why? Because I have kids, of course. Such things include:
1. Peanut Butter
My toddler is obsessed with peanut butter. Obsessed. So much so that he grabs the spoon and eats directly from it. Sometimes he is too impatient for the spoon and just sticks his little fingers in there! I might also be guilty of sticking the spoon back in the jar to give him another bite. Ack – don’t judge! Just stay away from the peanut butter.
What is a love of peanut butter without a love of jam? My kids can’t get enough of the sweet, sticky, good stuff. But for an adult? I wouldn’t recommend it. You never know what you’re going to get — there are swirls of peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, and — I’ll just admit it — probably saliva in there.
3. Sunflower seed butter
I mean, sure, go ahead and eat this if you think the best part of a sunflower seed is the bitter aftertaste. I, however, do not. I’m glad my son eats it because it’s the peanut-free alternative I can send with him to school, but I won’t even lick it off my finger when I accidentally make a mess.
I buy the expensive eggs: organic eggs from cage-free, free-roaming chickens who learn Latin and get massages. So, unless you have a good reason to be near my premium eggs — hands off.
When he was a toddler, my older son could not get enough of Trader Joe’s seaweed. He would gobble up an entire package of it in one sitting if I let him. I suppose you could eat the seaweed if you want to, but I think it tastes like salty, fishy tissue paper.
6. Veggie Sticks
As soon as I opened the giant bag from Costco, my toddler tipped it over and half the sticks came tumbling out. All over my newly cleaned kitchen floor. Hmm … the floor was clean, so it’s not like they were mingling with dirt and grime here. Eating food from a restaurant floor would be gross. Eating food from the kitchen floor? Eh, no big deal. The kids helped me scoop everything back up and into the bag. So don’t be fooled if you find a normal-looking bag in my pantry … it’s probably filled with floor food.
I like popcorn, but my kids love popcorn. So, when we open a bag, it usually disappears quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I rarely find a bag filled with anything but half-popped kernels and seeds. There’s a good chance that if you reach into the popcorn bag in my pantry, you won’t find anything edible.
Why do I keep cereal on the bottom shelf of the pantry? I’m not sure. I really shouldn’t though, because my toddler has discovered he can easily grab a box. If my back is turned, he’ll have his grubby hands in there and half the contents on the floor before I can stop him.
9. Cat food
Do I really have to say this? After a few recent play dates, I guess I do. Toddlers of the world: cat food is for cats. Quick quiz: are you a cat? Do you lick yourself clean? Wait, I’ll just answer that for you. You are not a cat. You are a baby. And I have tons of great, healthy, tasty food that you should eat instead.
I try to keep my house stocked with healthy food. I do. But sometimes, there’s no substitution for junk food. I can’t help it — when I need a fix, nothing else will do. M&M’s are my favorite and stay hidden away in my closet; I don’t trust them in the pantry. And why should I? My kids have taken over the rest of the food — these are mine alone. Keep away, hungry friends.More On