One of the hardest things you’ll ever do as a parent is not pass on your likes or dislikes. Can’t stand spinach? Don’t like tomatoes? Can’t gag down beef? You know what you need to do? Try not to vocalize it. The hardest thing you’ll ever do is not say how much you really can’t stand tomatoes, but the gratification you’ll get back when your kid gobbles them up by the handful will more than make up for it. Kids need to be able to make up their own minds on what food they like or don’t like. Let them create their own opinions without tainting them with yours before they even start.
They are predisposed already to not like veggies and bitter tastes, but these are taste they can grow to like – even crave – given the chance. If they hear mom or dad talking about how much they really can’t stand the asparagus or the steak, they are much more likely to opt not to eat.
The other day, dinner was pasta with meat sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts. The kids all asked for more pasta, but they weren’t given the option of pasta only. They could either have it with meat sauce or with more sprouts. Two of them opted for sprouts … and hold the pasta. My hubby and I just looked at each other. Score! Kids can’t just eat sugary-coated processed foods. They need to try things like kale chips or roasted cauliflower or hummus. And they may like it. So school your response and let them decide for themselves. They may very well surprise you with the foods they decide to love.