The first time I made a salmon a few weeks ago, my daughter ran into her room and would not emerge until we were done eating it. She would rather skip dinner than be anywhere near people eating fish. Why? Because it was a totally new food for her, and it's smelly, and she's sensitive to smells.
That's why I was surprised when she asked me if we could try salmon tacos. She said she might eat fish in taco form.......maybe.....if they were like mashed up or something.
That's a big change! LOL.
This is what happens when you expose your kids to food repeatedly WITHOUT FORCING them to eat it. I've been cooking salmon twice a week for about a month now. The first time we had it, she locked herself in her room. The next time she was able to sit at the table, as long as she couldn't SEE the salmon. Then she was able to have salmon within view the next week. When I cooked it last Friday, she was talking about how she might be ready to try it. I never once tried to get her to eat it.
Why am I telling you this? Because this is how kids learn to like new foods. Being around the food, smelling it, seeing it, and watching other people eat it are all forms of "trying" a new food. Will my daughter eat the fish tacos we make this week? I'm guessing no. But will the exposure do her good? Yes it will. And I will keep on trying because the rest of us like salmon.
You might be wondering what she eats when she's not eating the salmon I serve? The side dishes of course! We're having fish tacos Thursday. If she's not feeling brave enough for fish tacos she'll have a cheese taco, which is fine.
I know that my job is done when I offer my kids healthy food and sit down to eat it with them. It's okay if she doesn't eat much at dinner. She has a good breakfast, school lunch and afternoon snack every day. If she doesn't eat much at dinner, she can make up for it by eating more at breakfast.
Are you struggling with a picky eater? I hope this message gives you encouragement. For more help with picky eating, send me an email or visit this page on my website.
With that intro on picky eating, here's my menu for the week:
Monday: my 9 year old is cooking: Whole Wheat Crepes with filling options: sauteed mushrooms, cooked spinach, chopped bell peppers, defrosted berries, or nutella
Tuesday: Cooking Class Night! Tuna Noodle Casserole + frozen peas + oranges. I'm super excited. I love this recipe.
Wednesday: my 11 yr old cooking: One pot lasagna + canned green beans + applesauce (I'm trying this recipe for cooking class, I hope it turns out!)
photo credit: https://www.foodhero.org/recipes/quick-lasagna
Thursday: grilled salmon + whole wheat tortillas + salsa + mango smoothie
Friday: pizza with pesto sauce, artichokes, chopped spinach and olives
This is a photo from summer, we will probably have oranges on the side, not cantaloupe, which is out of season. I use frozen whole wheat dough from WinCo.
Saturday: soup with what’s left in the fridge, ? bean burritos for dinner. I'll be posting my bean burrito recipe soon. It's our new favorite food that we eat on weekends.