All too often my husband and I are coaxing our kids to eat. Our kids, on average, are pretty good eaters, but all too often we have the “Just three more bites,” conversation, or try to encourage our daughter to eat rather than play with whatever item might be around and could be turned into a toy.
I want my children to enjoy eating. I want them to enjoy the taste of the food and I want us to laugh and share stories about our days and our dreams rather than discuss how much food must be consumed before anyone can be excused.
Tonight, while going through this almost nightly ritual, it occurred to me that maybe they need more options for their dinners. Maybe what I am making just isn’t exciting their tastebuds.
And yes, they DO like broccoli….
I am not the best cook in the world, and often I stick with the safer of the more exotic options in hopes of getting everyone to eat.
Perhaps my menu choices aren’t what the kids want to eat. Perhaps they would like to try something new, but how can they know what they want until they have tried it?
(I didn’t want creme brulee until I tried it and now I know that I love it!! Or even salmon– that took me nearly 22 years to try. And I love it. My kids do, too. When I serve that, there are never any leftovers.)
I’ve had them cook with me and have found that they do eat more of the meal when they select the recipe in a book and help prepare it. But so many of the recipes in cookbooks for kids are a bit limiting and not too exciting.
Realizing this has me on to something new.
I’m setting out my cookbook with the most photos tonight. Our foreign exchange daughter gave me a copy of Rachel Ray’s Look + Cook for Christmas and I have pulled it off the shelf and placed it right on the kitchen table. I’m hoping the kids will flip through it tomorrow and find something that looks interesting to them without me even having to ask. I’m not even going to mention it. I bet my can’t-read-enough son will flip through it have some opinions. And then perhaps I can attempt to make something they are genuinely interested in trying.
What do you think? Will my scheme work? Will dinnertime soon be filled with happy tastebuds, happy tummies and joyful conversation that doesn’t mention quantities of required bites?
Stay tuned and see…