Simpsons Foodie Episode and Making Food Fun

The Simpsons Foodie Episode: The Food Wife

simpsons foodie episode - Spinning CookThe Simpsons foodie episode aired last night called “The Food Wife,” and it was a doozy. Marge, Bart, and Lisa start a food blog, providing ample opportunity for jabs at food personalities, food obsession, and blogging in general.

But the storyline went way beyond food – it dealt with how families struggle to have fun together. At the outset Homer was “Fun dad! Fun dad!” which left responsible Marge feeling invisible, until she became adventurous and started the “Three Mouthketeers” blog with the kids. After that Homer couldn’t compete with “Fun mom!” and their joint project of exploration and rising fame.

Making Food Fun For Kids

What stuck in my mind is the concept of fun and food. We want our kids to eat right, but it should be fun for them, to preserve their healthy attitude towards food as much as we preserve their health. To me this means that I limit the pinch-your-nose-and-clean-your-plate forcefulness. To an extent we need to be firm and require them to try some new things and extra healthy things despite protests, but not to the point that food itself fundamentally becomes negative.

Are you finding this balance with your own kids? How do you know when you’ve crossed the line one way or the other? And what have you done to liven up food in general (my 11/11/11 post was fun but that date doesn’t come around often).

Let me know in the comments, as you enjoy my favorite quotes from the episode below, or view it, now available here (from hulu):

Favorite Quotes

Homer (dramatic voice): This Saturday, from the dad who brought you cemetery paintball, and go-carts on real roads, comes the greatest activity yet… Bart and Lisa: VIDEO GAME CONVENTION!

Marge: You kids have had a big day. Head up for a bath while I deflate your toys. Bart: Save us, Fun Dad!

Marge (at Ethiopian restaurant): Holy casserole-y! That’s good gloop! Bart: I wish *I* lived in Ethiopia! Lisa: Exotic, Vegetarian, I can mention it in a college essay…Mom, this is amazing!

Springfield Foodies: (gasp) They have prepared her a dish from the non-translated page!?!

Springfield Foodies: *We* discovered Korean barbecue in this town. Lisa: Uh, before the Koreans?

Homer: Marge, the kids are acting ethnic! Marge: Relax Homer, have some leftover Galalalalalalalalah.

Welcome to El Chemistri. Please place these mints in your mouth, and when your table is ready, they will vibrate.

Homer: I don’t eat anything new unless I’ve eaten it before. Why drive across town to savor a bowl of mystery mush, when there’s [sic] four different Krusty Burgers we can see from our house?

Homer: Here’s my favorite restaurant, La Fridge. It’s open 24 hours a day and there’s no dress code.

Lisa: What kind of American man doesn’t want to explore global food culture? Bart: And then brag about it on the internet!

Bart blogs: An ostrich burger with buffalo mozzarella? It’s like a zoo exploded in my mouth!

Marge blogs: I used to feel guilty about eating veal, but now I just think of it as the baby corn of the beef world.

And now, Pork Chops 100 Ways.

Marge: How come they never call me fun mom? Homer: A family is like a team! And on every team you have the slam-dunking megastar (points to self), and the referee! Marge: It’s not fair! Moms want to be fun, but we’re stuck with all the “mom stuff!” Homer: OK, ok, how about this. Next week, you take the kids on a Saturday Surprise Dad Day.

Bart: Come on dad, be a foodie. You’re already a fatty and a drunkie.

Homer: Actually I’ve come around on hipsters. It takes a lot of guts to all wear the same hat.

Ooh, triple-spicy barbecued stingray stuffed with pig organs!

Empire State of Mind Rap: I’ll be frank like Bruni, ruthless like Reichl, wily like Dufresne, rhyme about radicchio, criticize Colicchio…

We can’t leave now, we haven’t had the root vegetables cooked in the perfect vacuum of outer space! They say you can’t even *understand* parsnips until you’ve had Zero-G parsnips.

I’m food bad boy Tony Bourdain. I’ll go anywhere and eat anything, as long as I’m paid in emeralds, and my hotel has a bidet that shoots warm champagne.

Lisa: People are loving our list of Springfield’s 99 top Afghan restaurants! Bart: I feel bad for all those places that didn’t make the cut.

Your dessert is in this doggie bag woven from the silk of a blueberry-fed spider.

Homer: Reality check. All the food in those (food blog) pictures, is poop by now. Minds blown. You’re welcome.

Homer: Marge, this isn’t a food restaurant, it’s a meth restaurant. A meth-taurant! Aah!

Wow mom, that was awesome. We ate mad-scientist food, and broke up a meth lab in the same day. Fun mom! Fun mom!

Episode 5 Cameos

Not a complete list, who’s missing?

Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay, Mario Batali, Swedish Chef, Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck, Colonel Sanders, Guy Fieri, Paul Prudhomme, Wylie Dufresne, Ruth Reichl, Frank Bruni, Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim

Simpsons Episode Links

You may also enjoy:
Interview with Simpsons Executive Producer Matt Selman on Grub Street

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Posted in Family, Food Articles, Fun, Kid Friendly, Philosophies
5 comments on “Simpsons Foodie Episode and Making Food Fun
  1. Kevin Mapes says:

    I just returned from a week in the mountains elk hunting. One of the folks in our hunting party “Smitty” had some fantastic menu options. His lunch sack was Homer Simpson approved. Every day he had a sandwich consisting of white bread, margarine on both slices of bread, Miracle Whip on top of margarine, a thick slab of Spam, and a carved slice of Velveeta processed cheese. This was his daily fair in his pack to keep him going all day long. We had a good laugh of how long he will live with all those preservatives in his diet.

    • Ryan Ryan says:

      You will bust a gut watching Homer devouring the contents of his fridge. He actually needs to be saved by his ghost (heimlich), who high-fives him…then he goes right back to bingeing… Step 1, admit you have a problem? Of course, only referring to Homer here..

  2. Krista says:

    This is in response to your “Making Food Fun for Kids” blog.

    I, too, believe that being to forceful at the dinner table can be detrimental to kids, especially as I have a pre-teen who is rebelling against authority in general. I don’t want food at the table to become a control issue. I want our dinner table to be a fun, family time that our kids will remember someday with fondness.

    To that end, our rules with food are simple. Our kids are required to be thankful for whatever they are served. No complaining about how things look or smell! They are expected to try foods on their plate, especially if it’s something new. My daughter is not a fan of mashed potatoes, and we know this, so she is no longer required to try them. Then, we recommend an extra helping of veggies, instead. But, we do not enforce the “clean plate club” that kept my husband and I at our respective family dinner tables for hours after the meal.

    I encourage our kids to request meals and sides that they enjoy. To the best of my ability, I try to make foods often that the kids like. We also enjoy trying new foods and so prepare at least one “new” edible per week. The kids also enjoy preparing the food with me, and I find they are much more likely to try the food on their plate, when they can say, “I made dinner, tonight!” I have been trying to offer more than one vegetable when I can, since we all like different ones.

    As for our dinnertime at home, we try to make it fun. We joke, we laugh, and yes, sometimes we throw our food at each other. My hope is that our kids are making good memories, but will also confine their questionable table manners to our home.

    • Ryan Ryan says:

      Sounds like you are doing awesome – it’s all about balance. We have some family “lore” about what can happen to an uneaten plate during a parent-child showdown… Lots of great concepts here: asking them to make requests, involving them in prep, giving choices, occasional food fights… love it. Thanks for sharing Krista!

  3. It’s years since I watched the Simpsons but I’m going to be looking out for this episode. I chuckled my way through those classic lines – brilliant observation.

    On making food fun for children, I think it’s a balance. We seem to have developed a culture where children eat different food than adults, children’s menus in restaurants are bad-food ghettos and everything is a processed shape. What happened to just offering a child’s portion of the main meal. We have gone from expecting children to eat everything without question to expecting children to like nothing. I know there are challenges (as the parent of a ridiculously fussy eater – who has been consistently so for years – she’s 13 now!) but if you see French or Italian families sitting down for a meal together, the children revel in the enjoyment of the food the same as the adults.
    Anyway – great post and thanks for making me laugh (and think).

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