If you have ever had the privilege of trying to coerce, manipulate, or entice your child to eat, this sounds like a plausible topic. On the other hand, restaurants make their living by knowing wives, mothers, partners, dads, or whomever, dread preparing food because they know the result is they must then eat it. Children just want to participate in controlling their environment if only for a few glorious moments. And so when asked what they want for a certain meal, they vote for pizza, strike out the ingredients, and let them “make supper.” Just do not leave the room…or go very far.
According to my daughter and others like her, their children gladly eat what they prepare themselves. But, if she makes a certain food as even a special request, they usually turn up their noses and will have nothing to do with it. However, it does take the patience of a saint to allow such a feat, but think of all the camaraderie and everlasting memories to be had.
This one particular day Wes wanted strawberry shortcake for supper. That was easy. Mom took out the store bought angel food cake and was about to slice it when Wes exclaimed loudly, “No, Mom, the powder stuff!” At least he allowed the use of biscuit mix. The really wonderful thing is that Marie, his older sister, wanted the same thing. She was a little hungrier though, so added hot dogs; thank goodness not to the shortcake!
I am sure you have permitted your children to make their own pizza, but some kiddos like to put their own twist on it…literally. These urchins like the usual cheeses, but take delight in further decorating it with pretzel twists. In fact to reveal great silly faces, where the pretzel makes a loop, they place a pepperoni in each loop, or maybe a pepperoni in one loop and a mushroom slice or olive in the other. The possibilities are endless!
A couple other suggestions include chicken tacos and ice cream sundaes. This time the grilled chicken and toppings are ready for their home in the warm flour tortilla. After loading themselves up on tacos, you would think the under seven year olds way too full for dessert, but like good little cooks they help clean up the kitchen which burns up just enough calories to make a special spot in their tummies for sweet stuff. So pull out the ice cream, all the fixin’s and two damp cloths and sit back! Then head for the bathtub!
With an occasional fun dinner preparation, the time of day which can be so stressful, becomes bulging with smiles. A children’s book comes to mind describing a neighborhood where kids take over the weather reporting. Oh my, it looks like a chance of rain! But wait, it’s only Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. By the way, the book is now a movie, but quite honestly I prefer entertaining and having the children entertain me as we read it together. We all inevitably roll around laughing, acting like meatballs, spaghetti, hamburgers, and MORE! Truly, when kids make it, they eat it!
This post was written by an amazing guest poster. Jennifer Hawkins is a professional chef and diet expert who loves to write about health and food. She often gives advice to other on good recipes and recently wrote a piece about nutrition in nuts.
Photo Credit: Rachel Tayse