I am often asked by different people if my kids eat the gourmet food that I cook…the short answer is yes, but it’s much more involved then that.
As a child I was exposed to all types of cuisine, it wasn’t usual to find a 5 year old Alyssa sitting at the sushi bar stuffing her face with octopus. My parents never made what would typically be considered “kids food” so I always ate what the adults did. I’ve taken the same general approach with my kids and it’s worked out well. It isn’t unusual to see my kids excited about a plate of broccoli or for them to choose a salad or tomatoes over cookies and candy and I am proud of that.
In our home, I am not a short order cook and you have to take 1 bite of everything. You don’t have to like it, but I expect you to try it and you will sit at the table until you do. I don’t budge on this. I’ve seen to many kids who are not made to try things and then end up only eating chicken nuggets and fries day in and day out. That child, would starve in my house.
Now don’t get me wrong, we have the occasional chicken nuggets and fries, but every meal always has a veggie or at least a nice salad. I’ve found that by introducing this ideology early on that it’s just become a part of how they eat even if they aren’t at home. I look around at the way some kids eat nowadays and I’m appalled. Kids who can’t even identify what an asparagus looks like, let alone how one tastes. I just don’t get that thinking. Especially living in the Midwest were so many family meals consist of meat and potatoes with nary a speck of green in sight.
My husband is a pretty great example of this. Growing up he was a latchkey kid so frozen pizza and Mcdonalds were basically all he ate. When we got married it was like opening up a whole new world for him. I remember the first time I made him an artichoke and the look on his face when he realized what he’d been missing out on.
I’m not going to pretend that my kids love everything I make, because they don’t. Something’s they hate it, but quite often after being made to try something they end up liking it and request it again. It always makes my heart skip a beat when my kids request foods that they once hated and turned their noses up at. Its happening more and more everyday and it’s really reaffirming to know that we are doing a good job with our kids.