The Moral of the Story
At breakfast the other morning, the Beaner held up a book with an orange cover (yes, we allow books and magazines at the table, though I sweep them away if I notice he's not eating) and announced, "Mom, it just occurred to me what Green Eggs and Ham is about."
"What's that, boo?"
"It's about no-thank-you helpings."
"That's exactly right, boo. It *is* about no-thank-you helpings."
I was impressed with his rudimentary literary analysis, but this conversation also got me thinking. A "no-thank-you helping" is something I was forced to eat as a child: one serving spoon's worth of whatever it was I'd just declined (politely or not). I'm assuming my mother learned the term from her mother or grandmother (though she might have coined it herself, and obviously the Beaner got it from both of us), but the Beaner is right that the concept has been around at least as long as Green Eggs and Ham—and probably longer.
Did you have to eat no-thank-you helpings as a kid? If so, did your mom or grandmom call them that, or something else?