Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sometimes it's all just a matter of different words

When I came up with this title, I had been thinking about a food experience I had with my grandsons during this past weekend. Since we were exhausting ourselves over the fair and parade, I was wanting an easy light supper before we went back to the fair on Saturday evening. When the boys asked for something to eat, I suggested Mexican Casserole, thinking the boys liked Mexican food because I specifically remembered eating at a couple of different Mexican restaurants with their parents and them. Both boys said, "No, I don't like Mexican food." I had to quickly choose something else and ended up with one of those perennial kid favorites, the can of Chicken and Noodle soup.  Although maybe not the healthiest of choices, they did eat 2 or 3 bowls each and I ended up having to open a 2nd can.  When I had talked to my mother after the parade, I told her I had a batch of leftover Mexican casserole I could bring for lunch the next day at her house.

I was wondering how I was going to get the boys to eat something they had already turned down once before. I decided to fall back on my sister Patricia's strategies I saw her use more than 20 years ago when her children were little. We were at my mother's and she was serving beef tongue. Yes, I know, that's a weird dish and maybe you don't like it either, but our family grew up on it and we consider it a long time family favorite. Patricia called her kids to the table and sat them down with the sliced tongue, along with the vegetables we were having. They asked what we were having, she said "meat". They began eating and after a bit asked again, "what kind of meat"? She looked at me and said, "it's beef, doesn't it taste good"? They agreed that it did and finished their meal without asking again.

We went to my mother's on Sunday after church. I whispered to my mother and my husband that we had to call our main dish "meat casserole" because the boys had told me they didn't like Mexican food. There were a couple of other things the boys said they didn't like either that we were having that day, but we told them they needed to at least try a bite. Each boy ended up loving the Mexican casserole, oops, Meat casserole, and ate 2 or 3 servings each. Plus, they ate some of the other stuff they said they didn't like.

So, the next time you are serving something you think the children may turn up their noses over, just be creative and try to think of another way to describe it and maybe this will work for you too.

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