Kids vs. Vegetables

Kids Eating VegetablesSomething strange and somewhat wonderful has happened. I didn't want to write about it before because I didn't want to jinx it, but it's been going on for about three months now and, by jove, I think I can announce that my son is eating his vegetables on a consistent and regular basis without a word of complaint.

That sound you hear is the angel chorus of the vegetable sort.

It started a few months ago when I mentioned to Joseph how proud I was of him for trying new foods at Supper Club. Each month, we join four other families in cooking an extravagant and decidedly non-kid friendly menu from various cultures and cuisines around the world.

Three months ago it was Sengelese.

I told Joseph how proud I was of the fact that he ate the fish stew and the coconut rice pudding without a complaint and even tried the mango avocado salad. He nodded and replied, "Some of it was good, but some of it was really gross."

I agreed. It wasn't my favorite menu. "But at least you tried it! Think of how many kids wouldn't. That's part of what makes you so cool."

And because having his mother consider him cool is cool to a seven year old, he took my words to heart.

Within weeks, he was requesting his eggs cooked like mine: filled with chopped spinach, basil, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion. Soon, he was helping himself to heaping portions of baked zucchini smothered in marinara sauce and eating the broccoli out of his Kung Pao chicken. He asked for thinly sliced bell peppers to be added to his salami and pepperjack cheese sandwiches and reminded me to add more vegetables to his soups.

He tells me how delicious it all tastes and scolds his younger sister over her continued revulsion. He gives me hope that one day she too will eat her roasted Brussels sprouts tossed with pine nuts and will ask for her own steamed artichoke.

A little hope goes a long way.