You know when six young kids feels like a lot of kids? At a party with a buffet. At a salad bar. At the froyo place. Anywhere that each person is to pick out his/her own food. Parents walk around *patiently* with each child, as he/she makes the most important decisions of his/her young life.
Do you want mashed potatoes?
“Well. . . ”
Would you like some applesauce?
“Hm. . .”
What else would you like?
“I just need a minute. . . ”
Times six. It’s the Sophie’s Choice of food. Times six. With a line of hungry on-children behind you. So, we get suggestive.
These peas look good! I’ll put a few on your plate.
You love sprinkles! How about a few?
Oh, I don’t think you’ll like that.
That last one. That’s the one. We were so guilty. “I don’t think you’ll like that; it has nuts” and “Remember the last time we were here, you didn’t like the asparagus?” or “That looks like a food for grown-ups.” When we were going through buffet lines, these comments made perfect sense. They were time-saving, eliminating some of the hemming and hawing. And they were TRUE. There were (and are) plenty of foods that I don’t *think* the children will like. But they’ve proven me wrong lots of times. So, now we try to go with suggestive comments of a more positive vein.
You won’t know if you like it until you try it.
I know you didn’t like it last time, but you literally have grown new taste buds since then.
The worst thing that will happen is that you won’t like the taste in your mouth, and you can take a bite of something else.
And it works. The power of positive suggestion has gotten our kids to try more new foods. And honestly, like everything with kids, sometimes it doesn’t work. But it’s always worth a try. As for the buffet/salad bar/froyo problem, I’d suggest not getting stuck behind a family with six young kids – especially if the parents are using it as a time to encourage new foods!
Dinners for the Week
Monday: loaded cauliflower and chicken casserole and green beans
Tuesday: Asian meatballs, stir-fried cabbage and garlicky snap peas
Wednesday: potato bar and broccoli (I’ll skip the bread crumbs)
Thursday: chipotle bowls
Friday: pan fried chicken, mashed cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
Saturday: garlic balsamic pork tenderloin and grilled peppers
When was the last time your kids surprised you by liking something you thought they wouldn’t??