Now listen, before I even start, I know there are plenty of judgmental mamas out there who look down upon the world from the tippy top of their righteous mountains and make arguments like this one. About how sneaking veggies into your kids’ food is bad, you should send the right messages by making them “eat the same thing you eat!” and suggesting that “if the kids help make it, they’ll want to eat it!”. And you know what? I’m not ashamed to admit, I used to be one of those women…. Before I became a mom.
I have very vivid memories of the first meal that I cooked for the kids; I felt like their diet needed a real nutritional overhaul, and I thought I was just the person to do it. So I put together a fool-proof menu of Italian baked chicken, whole wheat pasta, and sautéed spinach on the side. I proudly told my husband (then boyfriend) the plan for dinner and he voiced some initial concerns about how the meal would be received by our younger patrons, but I assured him that it would be perfectly fine. They were going to help me cook the spinach, so obviously they’d eat it without protest. And they’d helped me pick out the jar of tomato bruscetta at the store, so they’d surely be thrilled with the fruits of their grocery shopping labors! What could go wrong?
Well, everything, as it turns out. My stepson refused to put even a single sautéed spinach leaf on his fork, let alone in his mouth. And my stepdaughter literally RAN to the trashcan and made loud retching noises, to ensure that every single person from here to El Paso knew for damn sure that this was NOT a meal she was enjoying.
It was precious.