Last night M wanted a “buffet” to celebrate the end of 2012. I asked what she meant, “You know, little bowls with the food in it.” Since we serve family-style, this is pretty much what we do every night, so I asked her to elaborate.
“You know, where you stand up and get lots of little things and then eat somewhere else.”
I suggested lots of little, easy things, but she begged for Turkey Curry. I decided to let her run the menu (I added the scallops) and here is what we came up with… Lettuce for the curry wraps, cherry tomatoes, boiled beets with EVOO and Balsamic Crema (a Christmas gift, basically reduced balsamic in a bottle, who knew?) shallots and cilantro for the curry, shrimp (on skewers no less) with cocktail sauce, pan-seared scallops (M did not like these) and little cupcakes from Whole Foods. I ran through the frozen food section looking for some kind of app I could throw in the oven, but none of it grabbed our attention. Anyway, we set it up on the counter and ate at a nicely decorated table. (And we’ll have turkey curry left-overs on the 2nd…)
And M helped a lot. Usually she helps for about five minutes and then is off to play. This time she put in serious effort for about 40 minutes… Having kids help plan a menu and have some control and ownership means they will be more likely to help, and get that pleasant exposure to the food, and maybe try it. (Especially for children with sensory issues or who have had traumatic experiences around foods, smelling, passing, and handling foods helps them get comfortable with them long before they may be willing to taste them, but it helps immensely. They may be more willing to help with food prep than participate in the more structured therapeutic play with food, like painting with foods etc.) M was grossed out by the smell of the scallops, but she patted them dry and even laid them in the butter. She tried the teensiest bit before spitting it into the paper napkin with no fuss. (Feeding tip #2, always have a paper napkin on hand. Kids are more likely to put something in their mouths if they can spit it out.)
Happy New Year!
If you’re stuck with feeding, now may be a time to feel energized, learn more, perhaps work on getting everyone to the table for a meal, or planning to include one of your old favorites with dinner, even if your child won’t eat it right away! My resolutions:
- Get really good at cooking roasts (so far I tend to overcook them, and my $40 thermometer seems no better than the cheap ones. I am thinking it’s off by about 10 degrees as it still was at 150 when the pork was totally overcooked…)
- Find more oven sides and recipes so I can fully enjoy my new double-oven. Yay!
- Cook a tater-tot hot dish in honor of my new home-state of Minnesota.
- Try a few more new recipes. Don’t be afraid to cook something new, even if I think M won’t like it.
- Let M do more food prep (including cutting) and try not to freak out. (She burned her finger trying to flip pork chops with tongs. Live and learn, but it’s hard to let them learn that way…)
- Do better planning so I don’t throw out as much food. (Use those green beans before they get slimy!)
That’s about all I can come up with for now. Do you have any resolutions?