Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Picky Eaters... Part 1

I am a firm believer that picky eaters are made...not born.
Oh sure... there are always things that each of us inherently hates to eat... my particular choice of food to despise is Mayo, Will will eat raw Cauliflower, but won't eat it cooked, Alex loves raw spinach and not cooked, and Johnny likes raw carrots, not cooked.
I'm sure there are a host of other things they would choose not to eat, but if I am serving it in a dish, they wouldn't dare complain. Why? Because I am a mean Mama, and don't take any crap from my kids.
I know... I know... I should be sweeter, kinder, more tolerant....more willing to go with the flow...
Not gonna happen!
I just don't have that kinda time!
I'm the Mama, I'm the one cookin', it's my way or the highway.
Now... don't get me wrong... I don't just make food I know they will dislike,
but I do reintroduce
foods into our meals that they may have disliked last year,
that their palettes may enjoy this year. I refuse to make Pasta every night
just because I know Johnny will eat it and he asks for it every night.
When William gets all bent outta shape because he sees me buy a huge head of cauliflower, what he wants to do is say he won't eat it... then he sees my eyes and chooses his words wisely and says instead "Are you going to try a new way of cooking it for us?" To which my reply is
a resounding "Yes, I'm going to roast it this time, not steam it and make a salad" (OOOHHH! you should try Cauliflower Salad with fresh Lemon Juice!!! So yummy)
So, I cut the Cauliflower into thick breadlike slices, slather a little olive oil on them, sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper and my favorite steak rub or other seasoning, cut up a huge onion into rings, throw on some baby carrots and roast them at 400 for 20 minutes or so.
Voila! Cauliflower William now fights over for the last piece!
Why? It's taste profile completely changed when it was roasted. It took on a sweet
flavor and was mixed with the sweet onion and carrots.
Do the same with Broccoli, except instead of a rub, sprinkle grated Italian hard cheese over the top the last 5 minutes of roasting.
(Broccoli Salad with Lemon Juice is awesome too!)
So... todays lessons were as follows...
You are the Mama/Daddy.
You decide what and how your family eats.
You don't have time to be a short order cook.
Don't beg your kids to eat a food they don't like.
Be in control... just expect them to eat it... with a smile.
Refuse to let them make you think you are doing it to egg them on...
Realize it is your responsibility as a provider to give their palettes chances to bloom as they grow.
Introducing foods that aren't the norm is OKAY!
More another time!
Go Mom! Rah! Rah!

1 comment:

angela said...

I work on food types with my kids. I also don't tell them whether I like something or not. I let them make their own opinions. I do NOT enjoy seafood, but my kids didn't know that until recently.