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Monday, June 29, 2009

Menu Tactics

I'm making tabbouleh for dinner, but I've decided to strategically call it "parsley salad" and to have the kids bring me parsley and mint from the garden to put in it. (I'll be supplementing with grocery store parsley, however, because they keep eating the parsley out there faster than it can grow.) We'll see how that goes.

What are your favorite schemes for making kids want to eat things that are good for them?

14 comments:

Laura said...

Ranch dressing from Costco and lots of it.

Laura said...

I also call Broccoli "little trees". "Little trees" are much more fun and delicious to eat than broccoli.

myimaginaryblog said...

I thought it was a good strategy when I banned Dean from adding spinach to the lentil soup yesterday. I just can't understand why he DOES things like that--if he'd just serve the spinach on the side, both foods would get eaten, but put it in the soup and it's lose/lose. Or actually lose/lose/lose, if you count Dean not getting to see the kids happily eat the food he cooked, the kids having to suffer through eating a couple of bites of nasty concoction before they're allowed to leave the table, and me having to watch the whole power struggle unfold.

Shaun Roundy, MA, EW, RMT said...

When my niece loved corn but not peas, peas became "green corn."

mermaids said...

none of the usual "tricks" worked on my boys. could never "sneak" things either. they could always taste it. they can taste the difference when i buy milk at a different store. not 1% versus 2%, simply different brands of 1% milk. they can taste the difference in brands of butter, not margarine, butter, bottles water, etc. we have done blind taste tests because i thought it was just an act. nope. they have the most sensitive taste buds in the world.

Jstar said...

Our kids will eat basically anything if it's served with toothpicks instead of forks.

Shane's Angie said...

I do what my mom did...smother everything I make in a huge layer of guilt. "There are kids in the world that are starving...Do you know how many kids would love to eat such and such?...Oh, I worked so long and hard on this dish, I sure hope everyone likes it"

Ligia said...

Blend it all in a smoothie with a lot of fruit. I'm new at this but it seems to have worked so far.

Adrienne said...

Ummm...are we the only ones that make the food dance, hop, and talk in crazy voices demanding to be let in to the mouth, or, depending on the kid, hiding and pleading to be spared? This isn't a menu tactic, it's more of just general trickery. But it works.

Stephen said...

I say they can't eat anything else until they eat what they are SUPPOSED to. If it takes more than a day, they'll eventually get hungry enough to eat anything. If that doesn't work, just beat 'em into submission.

Stephen said...

Somehow, when I first commented, it seemed amusing. Rereading, not so much good humor as bad taste. I apologize.

For what it's worth, my opinion and approach was always encouragement. Children's agency is the same as ours: God-given. Taste, gustatory or otherwise, is a process of maturation.

Emily S. said...

We hide veggies in smoothies. I've been doing it since they were toddlers. I put in spinach, kale, avocado, carrots, squash, cabbage and zucchini. I also add flaxseed, or oatmeal sometimes. Just not all at the same time! We play "guess the hidden ingredients" with every smoothie. They drink them up!

OhSusanna said...

I do the smoothie trick too. My kids actually don't mind kale in smoothies as long as it is accompanied by lots of fruit.

When Libby was really little she would eat ANYTHING. Sigh. Those days are long past.

OhSusanna said...

Oh, and Z-

I put kale in lentil soup the other day and the kids loved it. If Dean insists on putting stuff like that in soup, I recommend kale over spinach-the texture is much better.