Picky eaters with twists

Since this blog is a new adventure, I thought maybe I should to explain myself. In just our immediate little family, we have myself and my husband. We are both omnivores with an extreme love for the meats! We have three girls. One is a vegetarian. One is a vegan. The other one, well, pick a day and we’ll see what she is eating.

Add to this all sorts of picky food preferences. My husband doesn’t eat any type of squash and loathes kale with a passion I have never seen toward food. He also basically hates winter produce. With our oldest two girls, you can almost guarantee that if one really likes a food, say avocado, the other won’t eat it at all. The middle one loves wings. The husband hates wings. And our 9-year-old is her own endless puzzle. A few years ago, her menu was limited to: pasta, pizza, grilled cheese, eggs, bread, fruit, vegetables and tofu. Now, this doesn’t sound terrible. It’s not your classic “kids only eat junk” menu. But it can get really boring for the adults, and I don’t really like the idea that we are making a separate “special” meal for the kid. We decided to start a “try something new” tradition. At first, this was a tumultuous adventure, sometimes with her tears at the idea of even tasting it, or my frustrated tears after putting a ton of effort into a dish, only to throw it in the garbage without her even taking a bite.

But we persevered, and it has really paid off. We had a tradition of trying one new thing every other Saturday. We started with simple things. Most times the response was “it’s spicy” or “to me it’s tangy” or something similar. These comments were made after one touch to the tongue. Then we had a break through. And then we had more. Our first breakthrough was saffron. Yes, take a little girl who loves princesses, queens and all things royal, and introduce her to the most expensive spice at the shop. We made Suki’s Saffron Risotto from Eat Like a Gilmore Girl. It combined something she loves, rice, with this very expensive spice. She loved it. She asked for seconds. Then, we found mushrooms. I smoked portobello mushrooms because my vegan was coming for dinner. The little one tried it, and and she fell in love. I have yet to find a mushroom preparation or dish that she will not eat. A few weeks ago, she said, “I’m in a mood to try new things” about a planned grocery trip! Don’t get me wrong. There’s still the “it’s a little spicy for me” (said about a dish that has almost no spice at all), and there are still times when her plate goes in the garbage, but she’s willing to try. And there haven’t been any tears at the table in ages.

Needless to say, the fun adventure is when they all come and friends, boyfriends, etc come along for the ride. On those nights, our table is more like your local buffet, but we’re making it work, and I look forward to sharing the food adventures.

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