I have to admit, I am SOOOOOO guilty of this. As the mother of two of the pickiest eaters on the planet, if I didn’t get creative with my food presentation, my kids would subsist on non-nutrient carbohydrates.
I love to throw fruits and vegetables into pancakes or waffles, because they don’t notice the flavor. If I can make a smoothie and throw in a vegetable, I do.
The only way I can get any of my kids to eat bananas is to slice them into rounds and put a dollop of peanut butter on them, then spear them with toothpicks. They must think it’s “fancy” to poke them with such a tiny sliver of wood, because they’re gone in a blink. If I try that with a plain banana (and I speak from experience), it gets pushed around the plate until it turns that unsightly brown, mushy color, and then no child is putting it anywhere near his mouth.
One of the things my kids most despise (besides, well, just about ANYTHING nutritious) is spaghetti. I tried making curly noodles, rigatoni, angel hair pasta, regular macaroni… and they gagged and heaved like I was feeding them poison. (Dinner at our house is so glamorous. Read: disgusting.) Every time I said I was making spaghetti, I heard moans and sighs and tantrums ALL DAY LONG, along with the whining, the crying, and the begging to please, please, PLEASE make anything but that.
Puh-lease. I make good spaghetti. I don’t even try to sneak in a bunch of extra vegetables, so they really have nothing to complain about.
One day, I got so sick of the chorus of protests, I told them I was making “Spaghetti Casserole”. It must have been divinely inspired, because immediately three little mouths stopped mid-whine and clamped themselves shut. They were intrigued.
I was elated.
My spaghetti casserole consists of cooked spaghetti noodles, my regular spaghetti sauce, and melted cheese. I put the noodles in a casserole dish, dump the sauce on top, and cover with shredded cheddar, then bake it in the oven until the cheese melts. MY KIDS ASK FOR SECONDS AND THIRDS EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Silly, silly kids.
Happy, happy mom!
One day they’ll catch on, but I’m hoping by then, they’ll learn to like spaghett the “regular” way.