A photo of Shannon SaiaOnce upon a time I had a little girl who ate Indian food with me. Lentil and minestrone soups. Raw sweet potatoes. Beans. She asked to have broccoli for dinner. She asked to have peas.

I have no idea what happened to that child.

Nowadays I’ve got a Mac’n’cheese and hot dog and chicken finger kid. She eats bread with ketchup, and tortilla chips with ketchup. Last night I even saw her taste yogurt with ketchup (yuck!).

It’s not all bad – I mean, she does like and eat plain yogurt. And raw carrots and all kinds of raw fruits. And you should see her dive into a plate of calamari. And she drinks milk, which is more than I can say that I did when I was little. She’s still a far cry from my peanut butter and jelly sandwich days. And it’s an old family story that for a long time a certain family member would eat nothing but tomato soup. Still, these days I find myself thinking of my mother naming a casserole after me because I hated it (I like it now). I find myself thinking of my father saying, “One day when you’re grown up I’m going to come to your house for dinner, and no matter what you put in front of me, I’m going to say ‘yuck!’” (He has never actually done this.)

All of which is to say that – sigh – I’m really feeling my position as a parent these days.

Maybe the problem is that I really do try to put food on the table that my daughter will like, and in so doing, I’m depriving her of the opportunity to try new things, to develop new tastes, to ...

1/14/2011 10:23:46 PM

Also, Alton Brown did an episode on parsnips that was all about hiding veggies, you should check it out! His recipe for parsnip muffins is on the web, just google alton brown parsnip muffins.

1/14/2011 10:14:47 PM

If your kids are like mine, school is what happened! My kids arrived at school with their healthy lunches and non-white bread and the other kids recoiled, extolling the virtues of the processed cardboard food the cafeteria served. It's disheartening, to say the least! I was at a Parent Forum meeting lately and one of the mothers was going on and on about how upset she was that the school district committed to only serving whole grain bread, and the fact that her kids would never eat it. I about bit my tongue in half containing myself. Thank you for the recipe, I look forward to trying it! I absolutely love rutabagas and your article about them inspired me to give them another try in my raised bed garden.

Nebraska Dave
1/10/2011 11:42:59 AM

Shannon, I've eaten a lot of different kinds of Mac&Cheese. Who knew you could hide veggies in those cheesy depths. Kudos to you for the discovery. My grandson .... he eats the Mac with no cheese, the spaghetti with no sauce, loves broccoli, califlower, and carrots raw and eats any kind of fruit as long as you don't mix it with anything. There's no hiding anything from him, but it does eat a fairly well balanced diet. Oh, yeah, and he favorite breakfast food is oatmeal or Fiber One Raisin Brand. Six years old and already eating a healthy diet. I can't complain about that. His Mom has taught him about the finer delicacies of food like icecream, candy, and (big sigh) bubble gum. What's a grandpa to do? Have a great snow day if you have it.

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