Everyone has a tried and true tip for getting their kids to try new foods. Parenting magazines are always touting how to please fussy eaters. But, what if we stopped playing tricks? What if we just told kids what they were eating?
Not a novel thought, after all our mothers made one meal and we either ate it or went to bed hungry, right? I’d like to suggest an in between, a more gentle way to ease kids into being adventurous eaters. Let’s start by playing on their terms.
We had a houseful of pumpkins from Halloween festivities, and rather than let them go to waste, I roasted them, scooped the flesh and gave it a whirl in the food processor to make my own pumpkin puree. This is destined to find its way into risotto soon. First, I decided to entice my girls with something every kid loves—cupcakes!
Now, before you think this is some kind of bait and switch, I never lie to my daughters about ingredients. And yes, adding butter and sugar negates the nutritional value, but that is not the point of this experiment. The point is to get them to try a new food in a familiar form. The expectation is that that they will be more open to trying it in that risotto, waffles and a ton of other recipes I have ready and waiting. We might even get a few roasted cubes into them down the road. Remember, food is a control issue, and once you learn to let them take the reigns a little, you just might find they’re more open to trying new things than we thought.
2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (6 ounces) sugar
2 cups (10 ounces) flour
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) sea salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) all spice
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3.65 ounces) pumpkin puree
3/4 cup (175 ml) milk