I have been in such a food rut with my kids lately. I have fallen into the comfort zone of just serving them the same few things day in and day out, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. So, I went to another food blog to try to get some inspiration for kid-friendly recipes, but everything was just so labor intensive (i.e. – the recipes involved too many ingredients and would take way too long to make). So, I decided I just needed to take matters into my own hands. I am starting with lunch, since Zachary’s (i.e. -my 5 year old son’s) weekly lunchbox looks more or less like this:
Monday: Avocado sandwich (whole wheat bread), apple sauce, baby carrots, water
Tuesday: Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread, milk, grapes
Wednesday: Bagel (whole wheat or poppy – he likes to alternate) with cream cheese, juice box, grapes
Thursday: Cooking day at school (Thank goodness!!)
Friday: Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread, juice box, baby carrots
Granted, I know the stuff is (more or less) healthy, but it’s literally the same five things week in and week out. And my younger son’s lunchbox is not much different (although he at least likes cheese sandwiches and homemade chili, so I can alternate those in there for him).
Anyway, fueled by the success of my baked ziti with hidden veggies cooking project with the kids (see Rainy Day Cooking) the other day, I decided to have Zachary help me make egg salad. I know egg salad isn’t necessarily an earth shattering upgrade to the weekly lunch list, but at least it’s another option to add to the mix. I have asked him multiple times in the past if he would eat egg salad and his answer was always an emphatic “NO”. But this time I asked him to help make it. I told him making egg salad requires a person who is really careful because if you aren’t careful the eggs could break. Kids are so gullible. I had him place the eggs (“very carefully, Zachary”) in the pot, cover them with water, and when they were done cooking (and I had run them under cold water), we peeled them together and he helped me dice up the eggs and add the (low-fat) mayo, salt, and pepper. I then reminded him that he likes scrambled eggs and that egg salad tastes a little like scrambled eggs. I let him spread a little egg salad on a piece of bread and…low and behold, he tried it! I was so ecstatic that he actually tried it that I didn’t even care if he liked it or not! But, much to my utter amazement, he even liked it!! Hallelujah! I finally have something else to add to the list of lunch options! Even if it is yet another sandwich. (Got any non-sandwich lunch ideas?)
I think the moral of the story for me is to not fall into that “food rut” where I am serving my kids the same things all the time. Kids are fickle. At least my sons are. Just because they say they don’t like something one week, doesn’t mean they won’t like it the next week…as long as I add a twist, like having them help make it!