Food is complicated.Some people live to eat, other eat to live.While my husband and I are the former, my son is very much the latter.Eating meals is a necessary burden he bears daily.I think the reason he likes pizza and tacos is being able to eat with his hands.Even then, he will eat only the necessary minimum.
But, being the food lover that I am, I have a strong desire to introduce my unwilling family to the incredible variety of food (ok, I’m biased towards veggies) available.I steam kale and swiss chard, shred zucchini, grill pattipans, sauté spinach, and make sure that at each and every meal we abide by the one bite rule.I don’t push him to gorge himself, but he knows that no matter what we have on the menu, he is required, by house law, to taste it.
I was driven to the use of metaphor to initially sell in the one bite rule.“Imagine if you always looked at ice cream and thought it looked bad and never ever tried it – see what you would be missing?” Andrew would roll his eyes, grab his throat as if he was gagging and respond, “If ice cream looked like this mushy green stuff, I would never want to try it”.We have likely had this conversation about 10,000 times. I think life is easier when you aren’t a picky eater.People are happy to host a guest who smiles and helps themselves to whatever is being served. Who wants to be with someone who can’t eat if the peas are touching the potatoes?So, as I prepare my dish for dinner tonight – delicious sautéed broccoli, garlic, onion and carrots – I am also prepared for another battle.
But, there have been breakthroughs.Not long ago, on the way home from a farmers market with some friends, we were discussing the amazing vegetables that we purchased. Our friend’s daughter said that she hated squash and it was gross.Andrew piped in, “hey, have you ever tried it?I never used to like squash, but I tried squash soup and now I love it. You should try it, you might like it too”.I relish in these small victories.