I’m Not Going to Eat a Bird.

Dylan is a sensitive soul.

One night, when we called him in for dinner, he looked at the chicken and said, “I can’t eat that.”

“What do you mean you can’t eat it?” I said. I rarely cook, and having a “real” dinner – with meat and vegetables – was a fairly special thing.

“It’s a bird,” he said. “I’m not going to eat a bird.”

Given my own history as an occasional vegetarian, I knew exactly how he felt.

But like any good mom who’d just spent half an hour making dinner, I screeched at him. “You WILL eat it!”

He didn’t eat it. In fact, he declared himself to be a vegetarian for the rest of time.

Dylan takes L-Tyrosine for his ADHD, which works in conjunction with the intake of protein. Dylan needs more protein than most people, or his ADHD symptoms get worse. We learned this the hard way when he was young. We started giving him an egg for breakfast when he was barely old enough to say the word “cholesterol.”

He can still eat eggs, which are the most substantial source of protein in the world, other than meat. Dairy – which is awful for him – and nuts are the other two significant sources. Sure, spinach and kale provide some protein, too, in a good way. But they aren’t fast or easy – and Dylan rarely eats anything that is not fast and easy.

To put it into perspective, Dylan would need to eat four eggs to get the amount of protein he gets from one slab of meat. He would need to eat eight peanut butter sandwiches. And the amount of cashews he would need to put away … well, I can’t count them.

So I said, “You will eat meat.”

And he said, “No, I won’t.”

And that’s where we are now.

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