I am thankful that my kids share my love of food. From a young age, we have exposed them to various tastes and textures in order that they might develop a wide culinary palette. After they began eating table food, I refused to be a short order cook. They were invited to eat what I cooked, or else there was always PB & J sandwiches.
As well, we have traveled quiet extensively with our kids to various locales around the world (UK, South Africa, Costa Rica). Before each trip, we would let them know that in some places the typical foods that we eat might not be available. Therefore, whatever was offered to us, we would eat.
Another approach that I have found helpful is allowing my kids to help me in the kitchen even if it is messy, even if there is really nothing for them to do, even if I am short on time and especially if I am trying out a new type of food, or new ethnic cuisine (Indian, Thai, Spanish, etc.)
Now, of course, they don’t necessarily like everything that I make, but they are required to take as many bites as their age. However, if they have taken part in the creation of the meal, 99% of the time they eat everything. It’s all about pride and taking ownership, I think.
Another idea that has worked for me to get kids to try new foods is to allow them to help me shop. Sometimes we try out a new fruit, or a new veggie, even a new spice or seasoning. They continue to enjoy theses adventure. Now, it is so much fun, since we are back in the Seattle area and can meander down to Pike Place Market every so often.
When we lived in Denver, we loved going to an Hispanic market very close to our home. Just outside of the entrance, a lady, who made homemade tamales was always ready to offer us a free taste test. However, instead of a nibble, she always gave the kids and entire tamale of their choice. Inside of the market was amazing fresh fruits and veggies that far surpassed the ones at my traditional grocery stores. Not to mention, the bakery section had the most delectable treats that we could not find in others.
As well there was an incredible indoor farmer’s market called “Sunflower Farmer’s Market” that we really loved. Fresh fruits and veggies, bulk sections with all sorts of inexpensive organic baking products, beans, grains, as well as an amazing candy section that had THE BEST licorice that Jon or I have ever tasted. In this market is where the kids really enjoyed shopping for veggies and fruits (me, too!). I would let them pick out a new one each visit and we would figure out what to do with it.
I remember the first time we selected fennel. Jon and I had been to Chicago and had the most amazing roasted vegetable dish at a restaurant there, which included carrots, radishes, fennel and onions, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. The kids and I replicated the dish and it is one of our favorites to this day. There is something about roasting veggies that brings out the sweetness of each–yummy!
On Saturday, the kids and I found ourselves wanting something sweet. So, we decided to make a retro-treat. However, we decided to put a twist on the recipe. We made Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispie Treats. The changes we made to the basic recipe was to use Cocoa Krispies, (which, I usually don’t purchase, but a few months ago purchased several boxes of cereal for .25/box and knew just what to make with these) and peanut butter.
Here is the original recipe. (click on the link)
To this we added, 1/2 cup of organic peanut butter (maybe a bit more, remember, I am not so good at following recipes.) I might as well tell you now, we, also, used a bit more marshmallows, too. (How can you go wrong with MORE marshmallows?) Oh, perhaps, we might have added a bit more Cocoa Krispies than the six cups, too. Regardless, they turned out super-yummy! It’s a forgiving recipe! 🙂 Enjoy!