I could write a whole novel on what it’s like to raise a picky eater. To generalize: Vaida won’t eat meat, cheese, pizza, eggs, most sauces, etc. Of course there are some exceptions to the rule but she has been picky since before she was two years old. We have tried many approaches to get her to try new foods and we have had our fair share of battles. We decided a while back that we are done battling it out at the table. We don’t force Vaida to try anything new any more. I also refuse to make 2 different meals just because Vaida doesn’t like what we are having.
This is what a normal night looks like. I prepare a main dish. The dish usually contains something in it that Vaida does not like. (For example: meat, cheese, eggs, sauce, you get the point.) I try to offer 2 different vegetables as sides and I always have at least 1 fruit. If the stars align and Vaida is in an adventurous mood, she will try a bite or two of the main dish. (wahoo!) Usually though, she is left with the fruit and vegetables and luckily she likes those. Also, she will willingly eat most grains i.e. bread, pasta, barley, rice, etc.
We recently when to the library and Vaida checked out “Soup Day” by Melissa Iwai, where a little girl and her mom go to the grocery store and pick out veggies, then come home to make soup together. They play together while the soup simmers and makes their house smell good and then they get to enjoy their hard work.
Obviously, as soon as I read it, Vaida’s mind was set that we would be making vegetable soup for dinner. I happily took her to the grocery store to grab a couple of items we didn’t have (like zucchini which Vaida has only had in muffins and breads).
We got right to work: chopping, cubing, dicing and slicing different veggies and talking about the difference between the shapes. I let Vaida do some of the cutting too. Then we read the book again and followed along with the recipe that they provided in the back of the book. While our soup simmered we played outside and when we walked through the front door Vaida couldn’t believe how good our house smelled.
(Vaida’s favorite tool in the kitchen is our digital scale. We use it even when we really don’t need to measure something.)
She took complete ownership in the meal and loved sprinkling the “confetti” (parsley) over the finished product. Of course she helped me with the photos also…a mini food blogger in the making.
The best part: we had a blast cooking together and she ate it all!
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 1 c onion, diced
- ½ c carrots, sliced round
- ½ c celery, diced
- salt/pepper to taste
- 6 c chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- 2 c potatoes, peeled & cubed
- 2 c zucchini, cubed
- 1 c mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp thyme
- 3 oz rotini pasta or your favorite small pasta
- ¼ c fresh parsley, chopped
- In a medium soup pot heat oil over medium high heat and add onions, carrots, celery, salt & pepper. Stir and cook until semi-soft.
- Add stock and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, thyme, and salt/pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and add to soup right before serving. Top with parsley. (aka soup confetti)