You know how they say there are five stages of grief? Well, I cycle through Five Stages of Feeding a Toddler almost every day. First, there's the Overenthusiastic Flourish stage, during which I present plates of food with exclamations like, "WOW, DOESN'T THAT LOOK YUMMY!" and "AREN'T YOU EXCITED TO TRY SOME OF THIS!" This stage is followed by the Suspicious Examination stage, whereby one or both of my children sniff, poke and prod said plate of food. It's not long before we're solidly in the third stage, Pronounced Refusal, which can involve anything from emphatic headshaking to regurgitation (sometimes Gravy Too will go as far as putting the food in her mouth and then letting it all tumble out like a masticated waterfall) to bloodcurdling screams, depending on whether or not the child in question had a nap earlier in the day (which has 5 stages of its own, I've found). After that, I enter the Edible Advocacy stage, using all of the tricks I know and that parents have probably used since the dawn of time, such as Pretend Fork/Airplane Strategic Missile Launches or Progressively Extreme Bribes. The fifth and final stage, of course, is Tears. On both sides.
Of course, like any grief, my battle is relative. I am well aware that the hubby and I won the lottery when it comes to having generally open-minded eaters, and we also actively try to promote good, healthful eating in our family. That being said, I still find it easier if I cook foods within a spectrum of what I know the kids really love to eat. I'm constantly testing and tweaking recipes I find to make them more kid-friendly.
Enter our most recent hot item: salmon soba noodle soup. I've been making Skinny Taste's Honey Teriyaki Salmon for well over a year, pairing it with rice and any other sauteed vegetables I have on hand. However, whether the kids would eat those vegetables tended to vary wildly. After months of trying, I finally made a simple soba broth.
Behold he empty bowl and the Gravy Baby's half-closed eyes of total dinner bliss. Mom: 1, Kids: 274
The kids devoured every last drop. For those without kids, this recipe is a really easy weeknight meal; it takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and is a perfect light meal for a cold winter night (and hopefully, we're done having those for awhile).
Recipe follows after the jump.