When I teach cooking classes, those reluctant to embrace my healthier food concepts often say two things to me: “You must not have kids,” and “My kids would NEVER eat that!”
They are right, I do not have kids of my own. I feed lots of families, lots of littles, in my kitchen. While having kids wasn’t in the greater plan for me, it doesn’t mean I am clueless when it comes to feeding mini versions of me or you. And about your kids NEVER eating healthy options, are you sure?
Cuz here’s the deal…I have kids in my kitchen and in my cooking classes often. They eat what I share in class. Often they go home and make those dishes for their families. They are involved in the experience and therefore embrace it. I’m making a guess here that sometimes they are more willing to try new things than those who cook for them.
This morning I taught a juice and smoothies classes. One of my students was an 11 year-old young man. He tried every single thing I made in class, from green juices to hemp milk to smoothies thick with chia seeds and kale. He was eager to learn, eager to sample foods that are high on the “my kid would NEVER eat that” list.
After class, while waiting for his ride, the lovely lady working at the culinary center asked him what his favorite thing was from class today. He enthusiastically replied, “The Beet Juice! I really, really liked it!” Beet juice is a hard sell for many, yet this kiddo liked it better than the almond butter-chocolate-banana smoothie concoction he had also sampled.
My Soften point this week: the next time you think your family or your sweet little wouldn’t embrace a new healthy dish, just give it a try. Involve them in the experience. Get them in the kitchen with you and dive into this together. Your kids are awesome little people and may be more open-minded about food than we realize. Try softening the “never gonna eat this” with a “maybe they will like it” and see what happens. 🙂
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
Such a great post, Johnna! Kids are far more adventurous than folks think and so much of their response is due to how adults present foods. Kids definitely try more new things with enthusiasm when they’re involved in the process. And you can get them used to these types of real foods and recipes made form them if you make them part of their diet. Danielle of Against All Grains posted a photo of her little guy eating a salad the other day and folks kind of freaked out with shock! Love that your 11-year old was ready to try everything and give his assessments. Beet juice is delicious! Thanks for all the great work you do in the community!
Debbie Bednar says
You know that I have been struggling to get my husband and children to eat a whole foods diet for a few years now. Recently, I can across the book, “The Daniel Plan” the day before Lent began. My husband agreed to listen to the audio book and finally has jumped on board with a Whole Food eating lifestyle!! For Lent, he agreed to eat all whole foods. . .finally I found something that he has embraced on a full-time basis!! WHOOO…HOOO! Now where this relates to todays post. . . .my children have been very adventurous and have tried many new fruits and vegetables (truth is. . .we have had all these foods before, but they don’t seem to remember) in the past few weeks. I have used many of the recipes from your classes and posts to ignite their love for the fruits/veggies that I have re-introduced into their meals. This morning, as William was scrambling eggs and we were eating a family breakfast before school/work (miracles can happen!!) my 16 year old actually thanked us for changing the way we eat, because he said he “thinks he feels better and his reflux is significantly better!! He also asked us to “please, keep it up!!” This was so rewarding to hear!! Kudos to all that you do to share your healthy recipes with us!! I can’t tell you how many things that my kids have decided that they like in the last few weeks. . . I truly think the key has been both parents being on the exact same page with what we are bringing into and modeling in our home.
Wise words, Debbie! Thank you for sharing that. Hearing that it is working is so helpful to folks like me. It’s a great push to keep doing what we do when we hear that it is having an impact on families!
Thanks, Shirley. I see kids with greater willingness than their parents and am encouraged to keep sharing healthy recipes, especially when I hear kiddos actually like them!
I think most adults don’t give kids enough credit. I know there are lots of young ones out there who LOVE vegetables and will try anything. My niece, not even two years old, LOVES spaghetti squash and just the other day was chowing down the broccoli on her plate while trying to share it with the rest of us. I get that there are kids who have textural issues with their food, but for the most part I think kids will try anything and like it, especially if the adults are enthusiastic about it.
This is SO, SO true! Could it be that adults don’t want to try it and kids take the blame? Hmm…