Vegetables SHOULD Taste Good
28 March 2012
Tonight's dinner was an old favorite that I hadn't made in a while. The vegetables are roasted and then tossed with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I love these veggies and as I was making them, I sampled them and reveled in how good they were.
I was reminded of my picky eater tip, "Serve Vegetables that Taste Good." I started thinking that I should make this a series for the blog. I could post once a week about a vegetable dish that tastes really good. Excited about this idea, I took a picture (don't these veggies look beautiful?) and then sat down to eat with my family.
That's where everything went wrong. My daughter picked up one piece in put in her mouth and pulled a face. My son, the one who eats anything, finished everything on his place except the veggies and said, "I'm full, I don't really feel like eating these." Then my 3 year old announced, "I don't want to eat these."
I tasted them again and did have to admit that (maybe) I added too much vinegar. After tasting them the first time, I thought they could handle a little more. This was probably (definitely) a mistake. I also finished the veggies about 10 minutes before the rest of the dinner giving the vinegar more time to absorb.
These vegetables were supposed to taste good, but the truth was- they didn't.
Because each of my children are different, I treated this situation differently for each of them.
The son who eats anything asked for more chicken. I said that he could have it after he ate the rest of the vegetables- he ate them.
I encouraged my 3 year old by calling them "Yummy worms," and then asking him if he wanted to eat a red one, a green one, or an orange one. This would have worked if they actually tasted good, because he chose a green one, picked it up and brought it to his mouth. However, once he touched it to his tongue, he made a face and said, "I don't like it." I decided to leave it at that. The truth was, that they tasted like vinegar, not like vegetables. Pushing the situation would have left him with a bad experience with vegetables which would not have been helpful to my overall goal of teaching him to be a good eater.
My daughter, who likes to please and prides herself on not being picky, never said anything about eating them or not eating them. She even tried to encourage the 3 year old by calling them "Yummy," and putting a second bite in her mouth (and then cringing as she reacted to the strong vinegar flavor). She didn't finish her vegetables, and I didn't say anything about it.
At first, I felt like this meal was a bit of a failure and that I would have to abandon the post I was going to write.
However, I then realized that what did happen helped to convey an even more powerful message than the one I intended.
I encourage my kids to eat what's served even when it doesn't taste great and when it's not their favorite. I believe that kids should be taught that not every meal will be their favorite, but that doesn't mean they don't eat it. However, sometimes, I make something that really does NOT taste good, and I need to allow them to make the choice not to eat it- and that's ok.
I believe that the goal of teaching them that vegetables are good and vegetables taste good, is more important that making sure that they ingest vegetables during any particular meal.
Have you ever made anything that you had to admit was a failure? (It's not just me right?) :)