I have spent a lot of time getting our children to try new foods. 3 years ago, we instituted ‘Try Something New Dinner’. Every few months we would find a recipe and create something none of us had ever eaten (or at least cooked) before. This included everything from Greens & Beans to Crab Cakes.
After switching our eating style to mainly plant-based, ‘Try Something New’ meant a whole slew of NEW fruits and vegetables. For years we only cooked what we knew. If a recipe called for potatoes we automatically grabbed russet. We often skipped cauliflower and grabbed broccoli instead. A simple bag of salad was all we believed we needed.
If only I had realized what delicious treats we had been depriving ourselves of!!
Our kids look forward to these meals now. When they see a new vegetable sitting on the counter, they get excited and curious. I’m so grateful we do this. It keeps them open to new things AND proves to them that our taste-buds are forever changing.
Not everything is a win, but they are ALWAYS willing to try.
In the past year we have added many foods to our shopping list.
- Fresh beets, roasted or in a smoothie are amazing!
- Asparagus (or trees as our kids call them) were delicious on grilled naan pizzas!
- Butternut squash makes a scrumptious soup!
- Cauliflower! There are not enough words to describe what we have created with cauliflower!
- Goodbye boring salad, hello spinach, kale, bok choy, and red cabbage!
Fruits are also fun to try. Pomegranate (which I had to search the internet to learn how to cut) turned out to be a surprising treat. Our boys are baffled that they are crunchy AND juicy! Rambutan, white peaches, dragon fruit, starfruit… Our list is pretty endless at this point.
What surprises us the most is that each time I fear we have tried it all, I find something new. As tempting as it is to buy it when I see it, I write it down first. I do my research and plan it into a meal for the following week. After all, we don’t want our fruits and vegetables to go bad before we have a chance to eat them!
I’d like to commend all our Real Food Challengers this week. Many of them stepped out of their comfort zone and tried a new vegetable! We saw butternut squash, acorn squash, eggplant, bok choy, okra and even beets. I’m happy to report that they were ALL pleasantly surprised! Well done guys!!
Remember, just because you don’t like something cooked 1 way, doesn’t mean you won’t like it another way. If a certain vegetable roasted doesn’t do it for you, try adding it to a soup next time. Sometimes a different cooking style and the right seasonings are all the magic you need!