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Try and Try Again – Getting Kids to Eat

by TerriAnn

I must have the only kid in the world that does not like spaghetti. It seems that it is on every children’s menu and the favorite of so many. My daughter would groan every time I said I was going to make spaghetti. Cutting spaghetti out of our meal schedule just wasn’t going to happen as it’s the fastest, easiest, and cheapest dish to make. I had to come up with something…

When I was young my mom added sugar to the sauce. She added more than you would to take the ‘tang’ off the tomato flavor so that it was a bit on the sweet side. While my sister’s are totally anti-sugar in their spaghetti, I don’t think it’s taboo. Sometimes when I would make spaghetti for the family I would sprinkle just a bit on my daughter’s plate. Even then she would still wince with every bite.

Instead of messing with the sauce, I tried something different. The next time we went grocery shopping, I bought several different shapes of noodles. Each time I was going to make spaghetti again, I would first ask my daughter to choose which noodles we should use. One time she would choose bowties (farfalle), another shells, and sometimes even standard spaghetti noodles. When I would call her to pick the noodles for the night, her eyes would light up and she would run to the kitchen immediately. Soon we found that our cabinet came to resemble a small personal pasta aisle.

The result? She loves it now! I was almost floored last time when she actually ASKED me to make it – and without sugar! While it is true some children are especially picky, most just need a little prodding and ingenuity to acquire a taste for new things. She still doesn’t like tomatoes (neither do I) but at least the spaghetti battle has been fought and won (one point for me).

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Dee @ Cocktails with Mom July 21, 2011 - 3:53 pm

My kids actually happen to love spaghetti but that was so clever of you to offer the different shapes and let her choose. I bet that makes it fun for her. Great thinking on your part. Glad it worked out!

Cookies & Clogs July 21, 2011 - 11:14 pm

Thanks. Yeah, I have no idea why she was so against it before since most kids like it. Oh well, glad she likes it now 🙂

Jenn July 22, 2011 - 8:27 am

This is a great idea. I will probably try it when Sweet T is old enough to be enamored by the shape. Right now she only wants fruit or something equally sweet.

Cookies & Clogs July 22, 2011 - 12:45 pm

You’ll have plenty of time to experiment with food later 🙂

Becca July 22, 2011 - 4:47 pm

That seems like a great solution! If only everything in life was that easy 😉

Cookies & Clogs July 22, 2011 - 6:07 pm

So true, so true.

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