Do you risk wasting food to get kids to try new things?

Flipping through the October edition of “Everyday Food,” I was hunting for yummy foods to make my family for dinner next week.  The problem is that almost every dish that sang out to me I don’t think my kids will eat.

For example:

The slow-cooker short rib ragu

The ratatouille – served on pasta, with baked eggs or with baked in phyllo wraps.

Slow cooker green chili

Roasted chicken and butternut squash soup

And even the fall deserts are tough – I love brown bettys and crisps but I think I would be the only one eating them!

I think fall cuisine is harder to get kids to try and enjoy more so than other seasonal foods.  Fall food tends to be more casseroles and mixed food like stews and chilis. The vegetables also tend to be more green, leafy and less popular. Summer foods are often grilled meats with veggies they know like corn on the cob, beans and tomatoes. Kale is much harder to sell than green beans.

If Michael were in charge of the menus he would only serve pasta, ham, chicken, pizza and breakfast for dinner. He doesn’t care if they are exposed to new things  (which is odd since his mother was a VERY accomplished cook and made authentic dishes from all over the world – Chinese, Filipino, Italian, traditional American, Japanese). His main concern is that they clean their plates and don’t waste food.

So I am torn between making the things I crave in the fall and winter and exposing them new things  that I don’t think, at least at first, they will eat. You never want to waste food but especially in these economic times there is no excess money to spend on food they won’t ingest.

How do you balance the goals of feeding your children healthy things, exposing them to new things, making your favorite things and not wasting money on foods your kids won’t eat?

How do you choose what meals you will make for your family? Has the terrible economy affected how and what you are cooking?

61 comments Add your comment

DB

November 4th, 2010
12:26 pm

One new thing at a time, surrounded by things they like. That way, if they don’t like it, they don’t starve, and you don’t feel like you’ve wasted an entire meal. For example, the dessert after a pasta dinner, or the ratatouille with green beans and mashed potatoes — don’t worry about it looking like it came out of “Cuisine”.

I was never a big “eat everything on your plate” mom, because my mother and grandmother were, and I think it contributed a bit to my on-going struggles with weight. I never learned to listen to my stomach say, “Done!” However, after dinner — that was that. The only snacks allowed were fruit or veggies, or an occasional small serving of ice cream after homework. So if they didn’t eat at dinner, it was a long time until breakfast (which I also cooked.) My son was a notoriously picky eater, and I made the mistake of catering to it for years before I wised up and said, “Sorry, the short-order kitchen is CLOSED”. My daughter was much more adventurous in at least trying something. She might turn her nose up at it, but at least she would try it. But neither one of them starved to death, so it’s all good!

JOD

November 4th, 2010
12:30 pm

My 2-year-old has always eaten what we eat since her introduction to solid food. She eats a wide variety of things, including seafood, casseroles, pastas, fruits, and veggies. Introducing her early to a wide variety of foods has helped. We ask that she try everything (which usually works, and she almost always likes it) – on the rare occasion she absolutely hates something, we don’t make her eat it.

I struggle with cleaning plates myself, and I don’t want her to feel like she has to do it. I focus her on stopping when she is full, and try to serve accordingly to avoid waste. A lifetime of plate-cleaning (read, over-eating) can create weight issues.

The economy initially impacted what I cooked, but I quickly realized that many budget-friendly (read, prepackaged or starter) meals aren’t tasty or healthy. I stick to the meals I know are good and stretch them to make leftovers for lunches or alternate dinners. I also use common ingredients so they carry across multiple meals for the week, which reduces cost.

Long story short – kids will try new things if you give them the chance. Start them early!

Photius

November 4th, 2010
12:33 pm

My meals never revolved around “the children”; the kid eats what we serve or he goes hungry. On a few occasions he has gone hungry – too bad. We buy a side of beef and freeze it; great cost savings. Sure, steaks are great but you gotta eat the cheaper cuts as well. If the boy gets picky he gets a lesson in free will: decide on your own either to eat the cheap cut of meat or go hungry. Children can be master manipulators if the parent allows it to happen when it comes to picky eaters – allow them to exercise free will.

As for saving money, smoke a Boston Butt on the grill and feed your family for a week for pennies!

JustMy2Cents

November 4th, 2010
12:37 pm

The house rule for us is “This isn’t Burger King; you don’t get it your way”. The only exception I make on that is seafood. My oldest absolutely hates it, and I refuse to waste good stuff on her. :o) She then eats whatever side items we are having with it. Make it; they don’t like it, they go hungry. If it is food you like, it won’t be wasted as you can have leftovers for lunch.

JATL

November 4th, 2010
12:41 pm

Here’s an idea -you make it and if they don’t eat it -then they don’t eat! That may sound mean, and I do make allowances for children under 3, but not always. I also make sure there’s something in the meal that they’ll most likely eat (a side of pasta or rice, the meat -something). My 4 year old is a GREAT eater. The kid has always loved spinach and broccoli and carrots as well as most fruits. He’ll eat any green -kale, mustard, turnip or collard because he thinks it’s spinach -and then when he’s going to town on it, we let him know it’s a different green. My 2 year old is an AWFUL eater -picky to the extreme! I will give in on occasion and let him eat peanut butter and applesauce or yogurt for dinner just so he’ll eat, but we’re starting to put a stop to that. He started all day preschool this year when I went back to work, and he eats well there -primarily I think because all the other kids his age are eating whatever they’re serving. He’s gotten better though and is branching out more and more. For instance, Monday I cooked a pork roast and sauerkraut in the crock pot all day, and after having a tantrum for a minute he sat down and ate it -and asked for seconds! However, the next night, the black-eyed peas and mustard greens were a big NO. I let him eat a hot dog bun because he loves them above all else right now, and the next morning he was quite happy to eat his eggs and oatmeal.

My parents never made alternative meals for me. I hated about half of everything my mother served, but I somehow managed to muddle through. By giving into the pizza and chicken nugget demands, you’re severely limiting your childrens’ palates and horizons. Plus, personally I hate cooked fruit (consistency issue), but most people LOVE apple crisps -even kids! We don’t do dessert at our house, but if you wanted to -I don’t know why they wouldn’t eat it, and if they don’t -who cares? They don’t “need” dessert. I don’t understand why they would object to trying anything on pasta (the ratatouille -especially since there’s a Pixar film named after it) or anything in pastry (phyllo) wraps or the short rib ragu. Soups are iffy, but they should at least try it. I’m betting almost any kid would like butternut squash soup because it’s sweet. I also don’t understand why kale is harder than green beans? Why? Neither of my kids like green beans at all.

As far as wasting money, since my husband and I make what we would be eating anyway, it’s a non-issue. There’s always something in the mix they can eat. We DO provide an alternative if we’re making something really spicy. We both LOVE spicy dishes -Cajun/Creole, Mexican, spicy chilis, etc., and our kids don’t like their tongues to burn. I understand that! So you don’t waste huge bowl-fulls of food, just give them small tastes of everything first and go from there. I promise you -haven’t known it not to work yet -if they skip one meal, they’ll eat just about anything the next time around! Think back -this is the first generation to have meals prepared just for them. You think anyone back on the farm or at night in the apartment after working in a factory all day cooked their kids a separate “kid-friendly” meal? Please! They’ll eat when they’re hungry.

JATL

November 4th, 2010
12:43 pm

TWG -my comment is lost! Please find it.

Oh -and to add -we’re not into the “clean plate club” either. I think it fosters weight issues because kids don’t listen to their “full” command. Our rule is -you eat what we eat, but you don’t have to eat it all!

Momof2

November 4th, 2010
12:49 pm

My kids still have their limits… One interesting thing was that they would eat new foods when they were at their friends houses or at restaurants with their friends – foods they wouldn’t touch at home. Then they exhibited complete amnesia – telling me they don’t understand why I don’t serve (choice of food here) since they have always loved it.
Maybe the thing to do is some creative planning with the parents of the frients – something like I’ll fix this food Friday night so you send Joey over if you’ll fix this other food on the night my kid is at your house… ?

JJ

November 4th, 2010
12:59 pm

Theresa – if your kids help you cook the meal, they may be more interested in eating it. That’s how I got my daughter to try different things. She would actually help me plan the menu, shop with me, and help me prepare the food. Kids love being involved and it teaches them cooking skills.

Watch FoodNetwork with them. Semi-homemade with Sandra Lee is great. Rachel Ray uses way too many ingredients. Just last night she made something that I swear had over 50 ingredients.

Paula Dean is a lot of fun to watch too. The afternoons are great on Food Network and their website posts every recipe for every show. Down Home with Neeley’s is fun too.

If you make it a family event, they will become much more adventurous and try new things…..get them involved, all three of them. Give them “chores” to help prepare the meal. My daughter used to love to peel the veggies. They will love it, trust me, and it’s a great time to spend together. Just remember, they are little and you need patience with them in the kitchen. Let them make a mess and laugh and giggle. Remember “memories are what you are making”.

Tiffany

November 4th, 2010
1:03 pm

I think it works better if you can serve something new along with something they already like. That way they get to try the new item and if they really don’t like it you don’t feel guilty that they haven’t eaten anything. You need to make it fun for them…maybe a contest to see who will try the most new items. I agree about not wasting food. Whatever is left you can eat yourself the next day. Adding one or two new foods a day should be ok…over time they will have gradually tried a lot.

FCM

November 4th, 2010
1:05 pm

My oldest turns her nose up at most anything i cook…So I told her to plan the menu.

Get the kids in on it. Let them look for through the magazines and say hey that looks good!

Jeff

November 4th, 2010
1:10 pm

FCM, I have munchkin this weekend and I will try your idea. Thanks for the tip. That should be a fun project as well. Go shopping for it together, cook it together. Good inside project.

Lori

November 4th, 2010
1:10 pm

I always try to get my son to try new things, but if he doesn’t like something I’m not going to shove it down his throat or make him go to bed hungry. I just make him a sandwich or something. There are foods that my husband and I like that my son just isn’t going to eat, but I’m not going to not make them because of that. My son is 7 so his tastes are changing now. He just the other day realized he likes steak whereas before would only eat hamburger meat. So I just keep asking him to take bites of things so he can see what else he is starting to like. We have a rule at restaurants that he always has to try a bite of something he’s never had from either mommy or daddy’s plate, but he gets to choose that item. So at least he tries a new thing, but we don’t waste money on an entire meal for him that he won’t eat.

That whole “start them young” thing didn’t work for me. We tried that but from the time he started solid foods, he’s been a picky eater. And things he liked as a baby/toddler, he doesn’t like now (like sweet potatoes). I just have to try to introduce items when i can, but my overly dramatic son will throw up in his plate if I force him to eat something he doesn’t like (or doesn’t think he likes).

FCM

November 4th, 2010
1:14 pm

JJ my too are loving Good Eats….they tell me they it is all science! They like Triple D, Chopped, and Iron Chef too. I agree that letting mine help prepare things is working…Grandma got them started since they refused to listen to me in the kitchen. Now they get to be in mine too.

Now I do things like say ok Lunch time (Sat or Sun) go fix us lunch. They have to stop what they are doing and go make a lunch. I sit on the couch–if it is cold food or at the kitchen table (hot food) and they have to plan it, make it, serve it. Clean up too.

FCM

November 4th, 2010
1:15 pm

@ Jeff Munchkin will probably love it! You’ll have to let us know on Monday.

atlmom

November 4th, 2010
1:38 pm

I make dinner, the people eating like it or they don’t. My husband made a soup the other night – one of his favorites – that is something I have never made, because he likes it and wanted to make it…no complaints here. :)

The reality is that our grandparents (and sometimes parents) never had this problem. The thing is – my grandmother ate what she was served and she was thankful for it. She didn’t have the choice as to whether she ‘liked it’ or not. That was what they had – there was no way to go to the fridge and get ’something else’ that was what they had and *all* they had.

Making issues about food will only make your kids have issues about food. Serve what you want, and try to make it healthy, and that’s that. I mean – don’t be spiteful about it – try to serve what they like – or something they like – at every meal. but try new things. i typically serve a salad at every meal, so i know they get some veggies and protein (i put chick peas in it). So i never really worry too much about the ‘big meal.’ hopefully if they see new things eventually they try it. but i can’t worry so much about it. they aren’t going to starve themselves. really.

deidre_NC

November 4th, 2010
1:40 pm

let them help cook…and even shop…when my kids were old enough to read and do math…they got the coupon list and had to pick out what was on the list and make sure the product that was on the coupon was really a better deal. then they helped prep and/or cook. but the only time i didnt make my kids eat what was served was beets (they really hated them) and chicken livers…none of my kids can stand even the smell of them…they would starve if they had to eat them. but anything else, even if they didnt really like it they ate it anyway. or ate the part of the meal the did like. i would never ever make anyone eat something they really detest…but i never ran a fast food kitchen…if i cook it you better be there to eat it and not complain. theresa you may be surprised at what they will eat. just cook the recipes you like and dont even mention the fact that its different and they may not like it. just assume they will and act like they are crazy if they dont.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 4th, 2010
1:43 pm

I want to back up the train and say that my kids are actually really good eaters — they eat tons of fruits and lots of veggies — they will eat sushi and seafood of all varieties — give em steak, pork chops, chicken and that’s all good — the main things they don’t like is when things are very mixed up which a lot of fall dishes are casseroles or stews — — I don’t think they would eat the ratatouille but i seriously doubt most kids would.

Tiffany

November 4th, 2010
1:43 pm

I agree with JJ and FCM…getting the kids involved in preparing the meal can work wonders in getting them to eat it. Something that they have helped cook will make them proud and they will WANT to eat it!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 4th, 2010
1:45 pm

we watch a lot of cooking shows together and walsh was looking through the recipe magazine with me last night — rose loves to help cook and walsh like to re-organize my refrigerator and freezer — he is very orderly -

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deidre_NC

November 4th, 2010
1:51 pm

i also dont do the clean plate rule…but if they dont eat all their supper they dont get snacks later..they can finish their plate then. ( i did make exeptions at times to this rule depending on what was served)…i was amazed at kids who would come to spend the night and show their pickiness…i mean refuse to eat unless it was something i wasnt cooking. how rude lol…one time i took my daughter and her friend (they were around 10ish) to gorcery shop and run some errands..i was laid off work at the time and money was very very tight. well this kids mom would take them running errands and out to eat etc…so i thought i would do the same, only i had lots less money at the time, so i explained that we could all get such and such at the restaurant and that would be it…more or less a prices range fair for all…and this kid absolutely refused to eat unless he could get something that was much more expensive. i explained (which i shouldnt have had to) that if he got that then i wouldnt have money for either myself of my daughter to eat. he pitched a fit and did not eat a bite. i had to take him home hungry-i explained to his mom what happened (it really pissed me off) and she said good for you…he is way too spoiled lol…i wanted to say…welll ummm wonder how that happened lol…

bunch of yentas

November 4th, 2010
2:03 pm

My son won’t eat meat of any kind. He says its “mean to eat animals” and when i eat a steak or chicken, he says, “I thought you liked animals”.

Other than that, he will eat just about any vegetable, fruit, or starch.

I make sure he eats plenty of nuts for protein. He likes to eat almonds the most.

atlmom

November 4th, 2010
2:09 pm

I don’t typically adhere to the clean plate rule. What we do do in our house is if you take the food, then you have to eat it. So if my kid takes the rice/veggie/tofu or whatever, then says: oh, I can’t eat anymore – we say: you took that much, you eat that much. If they really can’t eat any more – we ask that they take X number of bites and then the next meal that they take less of whatever, since they can always have more (if there’s more that is).

JJ

November 4th, 2010
2:31 pm

The other thing you can get them involved in and it helps with their math skills, is to give them the coupons and let them tell you if using the coupon for the national brand is cheaper than the store brand. My daughter LOVES to find great deals/savings and she is always pointing them out to me.

Way back when she was little, some stores used to put little plastic grocery carts for the little ones to push around the store. My daughter got such a kick out of “shopping” and she would get the stuff on the lower shelves and put in her cart.

Thjeresa Welch's Grapenutz

November 4th, 2010
2:35 pm

I have found that fried balogna, pickles on a little guy named the Doughboy are all any kid needs. Castor Oil does the rest.

The problem with society today is that kidsRfat. Koolaid-drunk and delusional, most Fat moms like TWG are force-feeding their children into an early death, thus they are bad moms.

bad moms are what got us where we is in this world and that ain’t kool. that’s for sure.

that’s for dang sure.

HB

November 4th, 2010
2:40 pm

Sounds like your kids are great eaters! Have you tried simpler soups than stews? Like a nice butternut squash soup? How about trying various mashed roots and sweet potatoes prepared sort of like regular mashed potatoes? If the family enjoys pasta, try spaghetti squash. That’s good with tomato sauce or sauteed with more fall like flavors (butter, Rosemary, a tiny bit of sage). Toasted pumpkin seeds are good thrown into a lot of rice dishes. Personally, I’m with your kids on casseroles–yuck! Usually those just smother and overcook what might have been delicious veggies.

Kate

November 4th, 2010
2:54 pm

This is a tough one for me. My own mother was, and still is, the worst cook in the world. Every single person who has ever ate her cooking has come to the same conclusion. I really appreciate the fact that after a long day at work my mother always came home and cooked dinner for our family, but she really hates to cook and, boy, does it show! My mom also had a strict “clean your plate before you leave the table” policy which was downright traumatizing for me. Not only was her cooking usually inedible, she gave me more food than I could eat even as an adult. We ate dinner together every single night, and what should have been a great opportunity for a little family bonding turned into a nearly nightly marathon battle of wills between my mother and me. Just about every evening I would sit at the kitchen table for what seemed like hours swirling one mysterious mass after another around on my plate in a desperate attempt to convince my mother I had finally ate “enough.” Two of the happiest days of my life were when my mother decided I was finally old enough to cook dinner myself and the day we got a dog to help eat the dinners I didn’t cook. I know my mother was just trying to do what she thought was best for me, but I will NEVER do the same to my own family. I cook dinner for my family every night, but it’s up to them if they eat it or not.

Lady Strange

November 4th, 2010
3:51 pm

My dad had the “clean your plate” rule. I remember sitting for hours at the dinner table cause I couldn’t eat anymore but I wasn’t allowed to leave without finishing my food. Ugh. I think I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. I too think it can contribute to weight problems later in life. My son used to eat just about everything when he first started solid food. But now that he’s almost 3 he’s become a picky eater. I am hoping he grows out of that. I keep giving him new things along with his regular favorites just in case he wants to try them. But there is no clean your plate rule in my house.

Michelle

November 4th, 2010
4:06 pm

I will have to say, the hubby is better at getting the little guy to try new things than I am. I HATE trying new things and am VERY picky! I try to make new things and have started enforcing the “you eat what is cooked or you go hungry…or no desserts”! This seems to be working pretty well. I think he’s old enough now to make some pretty decent choices.

My hubby, despite his good intentions, is still one the clean your plate kind of people. I don’t really like that mentality. If my son leaves stuff on his plate, I am quick to point out that if he is full, there is no room for other “stuff” either! This usually gets the point across.

I will usually make the little one eat a few bits of something whether he likes it or not. There are a lot of things that he likes now, that he didn’t a couple of years ago!

TechMom

November 4th, 2010
4:16 pm

I’m not a “clean your plate” person but I am a “try a bite” person and if you complain, a “try a second portion” person. I’ve learned that kids grow accustomed to certain flavors and what doesn’t taste good when they’re 4 might taste better when they’re 9 (sour cream was that way for me, guacamole for my son), I also know there are a few things that have never grown on me including certain squashes (it’s a texture thing) & spicey foods. My son is a good eater and I used to try to limit how much new stuff was being served so he only had to try a little bit of something new but if it was a stew or chili, he either ate it or didn’t but there wasn’t another option. We have friends who basically cook a separate meal for their children every single night and I swear it’s either chicken nuggets, bagel bites or grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s ridiculous.

We’ve gone back to choosing menus in advance mostly because I got sick of hearing “what’s for dinner???” every single day. On Thursdays we decide the menu for the next week. Each of us has to pick 1 meal we will cook and then we figure out the rest based on our schedule. There’s usually one ‘quick’ meal during the week & football game Fridays lately. My husband and I usually do leftovers for lunch but occasionally there’s a night when timing just doesn’t work and we’ll have leftovers or whatever you can dig up.

FCM

November 4th, 2010
4:46 pm

@ Kate….Guy Fieri’s own Mother admits that she cannot cook. So when he told her (he was 7 or so they say) he didn’t like her cooking she told him fine you do it. Obviously it paid off since he is not only owner of 2 restaurants, a champion Pit Crew Member (BBQ), but also now a Food TV personality.

Chef Fieri’s Dad evenutally let him start running a tab at the grocery. (Small town). Guy would stop by on his way home from school and pick out what he wanted to make for dinner. :)

ajay

November 4th, 2010
4:53 pm

If you think your kids won’t eat the food you give them. They probably won’t. If you tell them “no, you can’t have this, because you won’t like it.” They won’t. If you are positive and optimistic, they will likely try new things and there is a good chance they’ll like them.

Kate

November 4th, 2010
5:03 pm

Oh, how I wish Food TV had been around when I was a kid! I had to make do with the cooking shows that were on PBS. That’s how I learned to cook. I started cooking dinner several nights a week by the time I was 13. I love to cook and I really believe in expressing your love for your family through what you cook for them. I still send my father care packages with cookies and other treats because he doesn’t like my mom’s cooking either!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 4th, 2010
5:08 pm

Michael sent me a note and wants me to add that part of the problem with experimenting with foods is that I don’;t like to eat leftovers so if the kids don’t like it he’s stuck eating all of it —

gpkbsin

November 4th, 2010
6:04 pm

I just typed a whole big thing and lost it. not going to do it again.

anyways, you might want to try clear soups first then the soups that are crushed up and then the multiple floating things soup. kids want to see simpler things.

add bread or pasta on the side which will fill up their stomach.

catlady

November 4th, 2010
6:42 pm

I put good food on the table. It was up to each person about how MUCH they ate. Of course, if someone decided to skip a meal, that was IT until the next meal. If they ate, they could have snacks of cheese or fruit between meals.

When introducing new food, I would serve it to everyone else. The baby would usually ask for some, but I “didn’t have enough” for them to have some. Of course, the baby would REALLY want some then, so I would grudgingly give them a teaspoon. And, of course, the little one would gobble it down and want more. I would tell them I would fix more next time so they could have some. Worked 99% of the time. My kids ate almost anything (even better than me, thanks to country cook babysitters) and what they didn’t like, well,they could live without it (brussels sprouts, eggplant). They even taught ME to eat beets, turnips, and peppers. They never succeeded in getting me to cook liver for them! There are boundaries I won’t cross!

I didn’t want eating to be a power struggle. Everyone has things they like, and there was always a variety of good food to choose from. My two kids who have children are now following my ideas,with good results for my grandchildren.

catlady

November 4th, 2010
7:03 pm

I agree with cooking with the kids. Maybe even more important–grow some stuff yourself. Let the kids work in the garden, planting, weeding, mulching, picking, cooking. Good for you AND them!

catlady

November 4th, 2010
7:11 pm

Hey, deidre, is it going to snow at your place? Brrr! Gotta go get more wheatstraw tomorrow for the chickens and ducks. Went out yesterday and picked green tomatoes for chow chow, and today picked a 5 gallon bucket of sweet peppers and dug the late potatoes, plus covered the baby lettuce and the mixed greens. I guess tomorrow night I will need to cover the mustard, turnips, kale, collards, beets, etc.

My son north of Asheville has snow flurries predicted for tomorrow morning!

deidre_NC

November 4th, 2010
7:26 pm

@catlady..YES!!! its debatable as to how much..where i live is pretty high so we usually get it….i think im around 3800 ft….so yep we are waiting on the white stuff…it has already been icy mixing…waiting for the girl to get home so i can rest easy lol…too bad we cant post pics here—ha she has arrived…now i can enjoy…and im off tomorrow so hopefully it wont intefere with getting to work early on saturday…we are expecting 1/10 of and inch to 4 inches lol…dont ya just love thos forecasters lol

JATL

November 4th, 2010
9:02 pm

@Kate -I wish Food TV had been around when I was a kid too! I enjoyed Julia Child more than Sesame Street and any other cooking show I could find.

Pamela Holliday

November 4th, 2010
9:58 pm

It is so important to try new things! IT is a GREAT lesson to teach your kids to try new things and see what they like!! Can’t hurt as well as not making them eat everything on their plate!

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deidre_NC

November 4th, 2010
11:17 pm

catlady you made me hungry lol..green tomato chow chow..yummyyy.

catlady

November 5th, 2010
6:59 am

deidre, my son reports snow just north of Asheville. I know what you mean about the food! This summer I canned about 250 qts of beans, tomatoes, squash, pickles, and SOUP! (The soup is for sickness, although my 3 adult children have already taken about half and eaten it up!)

Best wishes to you!

Sk8ing Momma

November 5th, 2010
7:31 am

Like I tell my kids: I’m not a short order cook. I cook one meal ~ period. I don’t endeavor to prepare “child friendly” menus. I cook whatever we’d like…We (me and my husband) don’t eat like toddlers/children; therefore, I don’t cook as if we’re toddlers/children. It’s always been this way and my children know the drill…Dinner is what it is: Either you like it or you don’t.

We insist that our children try new things by taking small bites of new items. If they like them, great. If not, no biggie. My children are old enough (11yo and 9yo) to prepare something else for themselves if they don’t like what is served. For example, I prepared artichoke the other night. My kids didn’t care for it. They prepared another vegetable/sliced some fruit. All is well that ends well. :)

JJ

November 5th, 2010
7:53 am

My mom was and still is a fantastic cook. The only thing is she will not try anything new or different. She won’t let me cook for her, I’m too adventurous……ironically, I was a very picky eater as a child. Now that I’m older, I like to try new things.

The only things I still to this day will not eat are raw onions, red, green or yellow peppers and tomatos. I can handle cooked onions, and maybe a few tomatos in a stew or soup, but not raw. My daughter will eat tomatos like apples. She likes them sliced with olive oil, balsamic vineger, salt pepper & a little parmesean cheese sprinkled on top.

motherjanegoose

November 5th, 2010
8:52 am

Good points on this topic. I am late to the dance.

My Mom was considered an excellent cook…she was the casserole QUEEN! LOL
She also could bake just about anything but did not know how to grill or even fry chicken. Grew up in Chicago.
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To me, it is funny how different regions each like different things, I met a sweet lady in North Dakota who was telling me about Bourscht ( sp?) it is a beet and cabbage soup with cream. I might TRY it but cannot imagine serving it to a family with children. But then, it is all what you get used too!

While in Arkansas, last week, I ordered the Lobster Bisque. The Peabody was VERY proud of it and called in LIQUID GOLD. UM…not so much to me. How good could Lobster Bisque be in Arkansas? So, I did a follow up here in Florida and yes I thought the bisque was better. I will say that the Peabody presentation was awesome,…the bowl came with a large chunk of lobster and drizzled cream…then they poured the hot soup into the bowl at the table.

I grew up in the clean plate club and did not adhere to it with my kids, I also was not a short order cook. We have lived in lots of places and thus enjoy lots of different types of food!

My son was a good eater but did not like a large variety…he has a much broader palate as an adult. My daughter is very advenurouas and loves to cook too! She watches all sorts of food shows and takes several food magazine subscriptions. She is 18 and already has the Thanksgiving menu down. She will make me a list of what we need and cook most of it herself. I am proud of her as many of her peers cannot even open a can of soup ;0

RJ

November 5th, 2010
9:10 am

My mom always tried to force me to eat egg plant. To this day I won’t touch the stuff. She tried making casseroles with it to trick me, but it never worked. I hate egg plant. I’m not really that picky but my kids are different story. They rarely want to try anything new. My husband is pretty much the same. He likes to eat at the same restaurants and order the same meals. I love trying new things. I do try making different dishes for them. Usually I choose something I think they’ll enjoy based on the main ingredient. My rule is pretty simple…you eat what I cook or you starve. I will not go through the trouble of cooking one person something different, they can just eat the veggies, but that’s it. It works. I know what I’m dealing with so I’m pretty good at making something they’ll enjoy eating.

Becky

November 5th, 2010
9:15 am

I let the kids help us decide what to cook, then the girl helps me cook..I do cook things that I don’t like for them and vice versa..They will try anything and if they like it, they let me know..

I will cook child friendly meals, afterall, they are children..I don’t have to cook that many though as they do eat mostly what we eat..They eat any type of veggie and all seafoood..They don’t eat mac & cheese, spaghetti O’s, or any of the “typical” kids foods..

They both eat chicken livers, veggie soup, turnips, brussel sprouts, cabbage and they love brocolli..Both of them will try any type of cheese..About the only thing that I have found that they really don’t like is sauerkraut(sp), but what they don’t know is that I chop it up very fine and put it in my deviled eggs, which they love..

@catlady..You are making me hungry..Sounds like fun to live where you are at..For the last couple of years, the kids have had a small garden with their Poppy and they love to take care of it and as was mentioned eating what they grow..

FCM

November 5th, 2010
9:44 am

@ Becky mine won’t do mac and cheese either…In fact they only do cheese on pizza.

I require they try the food. If they don’t like it they can have PB&J period. For the most part they are good eaters.

The Blogging Mom

November 5th, 2010
10:08 am

I have two kids ages 13 ad 11 and they are such picky eaters… not veggies, salad, and only some fruits. I encourage them to eat them, and will always put a little on their plate. Looking back, I know that my husband and I are to blame for these behaviors. We had our third child, who is now 7 months old, and I am vowing to do things differently this time.

Molly
http://www.thebloggingmom.com