As a child my mother fed us different types of vegetables that at times I could not eat. She gave us different types of legumes such as garbanzos, lima beans, and pink beans. Other vegetables that she fed us such as broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach were no better. But if there was one vegetable that I detested as a kid it was the Brussels Sprout! It was a small round, green, vegetable that she would boil and put on my plate.
I was always a picky eater as a child and did everything to hide the food that I did not like. But it was a bit tricky to hide Brussels sprouts as opposed to beans that I could mash up and hide under my left over rice. After awhile my mother got the picture that I was not going to have a great relationship with Brussels sprouts and stopped making them. Every time I saw a Brussels sprout it reminded me of the times that I was forced to sit with my plate in front of me and was told that I could not get up until my plate of food was gone; that included the Brussels sprouts.
About three years ago, I was watching Ina Garten’s show, The Barefoot Contessa, on the Food Network channel. One of the dishes that she made was a baked Brussels sprout. I had a flashback to the taste and smell of the bland Brussels sprout my mother would serve to me. Her recipe was to bake them in the oven with olive oil, onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. The finished product looked crunchy and tasty.
It made me think that I should give the Brussels sprout another try. I was getting tired of making the same vegetables at home for my partner and I. So I decided to buy Brussels sprouts and give Ina’s recipe a try. I made them and they tasted exactly how she described; like a crunchy French fry. After over twenty years of not eating Brussels sprouts, I had given them a chance and actually liked them. I began a love affair with a vegetable that I had hated as a child.
I asked a couple of my friends with children about what vegetables their kids love and how they introduced vegetables to their children. Here is what they wrote to me:
Diana: “Carrots. They have been eating them since they were babies.”
Niana: “Spinach…added it to homemade mac and cheese and they fell in love!”
Iris: “Carrots definitely. My kids will only eat them raw and corn.”
Danielle: “Ummmm I don’t have kids – but I love spinach and chard.”
Milagros: “The boys and I eat broccoli and mushrooms. At first they didn’t like it, but once they tasted both, the loved them. It makes me happy that at least they eat some type of veggie.”
What vegetables do your kids love? How did you introduce vegetables to your kids? Do you think the color of the vegetable attracts the kids?