Arroz con Ketchup

Dear readers,

I am off for a little weekend adventure which I will tell you all about next Sunday. In the meantime, I am reposting one of my favorite Ay, Mama! posts of all times. Enjoy!




Growing up, I knew a lot of people who put ketchup in just about everything they ate (rice, eggs, etc.). I cannot even begin to tell you how disgusting I thought this was. I couldn’t even look at their plate out of fear I would vomit.

I’ve always been a ketchup purist. I like it in French fries and meats. Period. Bill and I have seriously argued about whether it is appropriate to eat hash browns with ketchup. He likes them, I think they’re gross. He is baffled by the fact that I will eat a fry with ketchup and not a hash brown as they are both essentially fried potatoes. The difference to me is that a hash brown is a breakfast potato and ketchup has no place on the breakfast table (yes, I know I’m weird).

When I became a parent, I vowed my child would eat anything put in front of him and have a varied diet. That went out the window right alongside his never watching television or drinking juice about a year or so after we brought him home.

Around his second birthday, Dylan started rejecting food. Almost all of it. Well, the healthy stuff at least. Fruits, vegetables, meats…all he wanted was Mac and Cheese, ice cream and cookies. Thus began a battle that I am still fighting to this day. I have to hide berries inside pancakes, under yogurt and granola, or baked inside sweet muffins. I have to cut onions, peppers and carrots into sizes so diminutive that he doesn’t realize they are in his food, because Dylan will find the smallest bit of vegetable inside his mouth and spit it out.

Ketchup, of course, he loved from the first try. He could happily eat an entire plate of just ketchup if I would let him (of course that will never happen).

I instinctively only gave Dylan ketchup the same way I eat it, with fries or meats, but the other day, I came upon a genius idea. I’d given him white rice, sausages, corn and a bit of ketchup on the side for lunch, and when I came to check his progress a few minutes later the ketchup was gone and the rest of the food sat untouched.

“More ketchup!” Dylan demanded happily.

In frustration, I went into the kitchen, grabbed the ketchup bottle, and squirted it all over his food instead of on the side of the plate. Well, I’ll be darned if that boy didn’t eat just about all his food that day!

Ketchup had made an appearance in many meals since. Yesterday at a restaurant, Dylan refused to eat his Mac and Cheese until Bill squirted ketchup on it, then he cleaned his plate. “Arroz con ketchup” has become a staple in my house, much to my chagrin, and I have to make a concerted effort not to look at Dylan’s food while he is eating it. But he is eating it! He is eating stuff he hasn’t eaten in months!

I haven’t psyched myself up for the big test yet, though. Dylan has never eaten an egg in his life. Not in any way, shape or form. Could it be that there are “huevos con ketchup” in our future????

PS. By the way, I know ketchup is not the healthiest, but in my defense I DO buy the organic kind with no high fructose corn syrup – the lesser of two evils?


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  • Hilarious!....& very real entry....about parenting/expectations/realities/choices/negotiations/etc. Go (healthy) Ketchup!! (:

  • In reply to kathikubal:

    Glad you liked it, Kathi! Hey, whatever works, right???? :-)

  • Los hijos se inventan su propria mezcla, como mi hija que mezclaba ketchup con todo tipo de carne, fuera steack, bisted, guisada etc...Depues que coman bien y se alimenten hay que dejarlos. Eso pasa con la edad y depues se olvidan de lo que hacian...

  • In reply to Valmir: recuerdo ketchup con carne guisada, pero si tu lo dices...Estoy contigo, con tal de que COMA bien estoy contenta!

  • Nena, en casa es lo contrario...NI CON PAPITAS se comen el ketchup! Buenisimo, Khadine!

  • In reply to NinaGoyco:

    Que envidia, Nina, pero los tuyos siempre han tenido buen diente! Y con razon, con la madre que tienen! :-)

  • In reply to NinaGoyco:

    Lol! Catsoup it is! (Jejeje asi le dicen en M

  • In reply to camoll:

    El mayoketchup definitivamente es peligroso! Eso si que va con todo! :-)

  • In reply to NinaGoyco:

    Filipino Spaghetti is flavored with lots of ketchup and sliced hot dogs. Yummy!

  • In reply to jofel:

    Sounds like something Dylan would LOVE! I have to look up a recipe. Thanks for reading and posting!

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