I've said before that I don't discriminate against food, but unfortunately the rest of my family kind of does. My husband will try new foods, but there are a few things that he absolutely does not like (even though I've never seen him try them). One of those things is sushi. So, when we started expanding our family one of my goals was to introduce my kids to new foods - and to create a little sushi connoisseur, like me! It started out great. When my oldest daughter (now 5) was a toddler, I gave her rice, seaweed, eggplant, ginger, soy sauce, soy beans, and fish. She loved it all.Then something terrible happened. I don't know when it happened, or why, but one day it just stopped. No more unique and exciting foods. She started eating only macaroni and cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, pasta with alfredo, and surprisingly, tri-tip. She would rather go to bed hungry than try something new. I had to start hiding veggies in her food. Her pickiness got to the point that we started lying to her! I got really good at hiding foods under sauce. Chicken? "It's tri-tip!" Shrimp? "It's tri-tip!" Broccoli? "Ummm...tri-tip???"
"Enough!", I said. I decided that she and I were going to have special storytime. One all about trying new foods. It started promisingly with Green Eggs and Ham (which I am proud to say she read to me!). We talked about how important it is not to knock something before you've tried it.
We followed this with The Sandwich Swap, about two little girls disgusted by each other's food at lunch time. Everyday, one watches the other eat a hummus sandwich and the other eats a PBJ sandwich until they finally break down and admit they think each other's lunch looks disgusting. Chaos ensues, but all is resolved in the end. So, my daughter started talking about different foods and how she would like to see what they taste like. This storytime idea was totally going to work!
I ended with a special humdinger of a book that would surely convince her that she just had to eat sushi with me! Yoko, by Rosemary Wells, about an adorable little kitten who brings sushi for school lunchtime and is teased by the other kids at school. That is until the teacher assigns everyone to bring an international food so they can all try something new. And of course, little Yoko shares her sushi and makes a new lunch buddy. It's great book about acceptance, tolerance, sensitivity, and giving everything (and everyone) a chance. It also makes me VERY hungry for sushi. We finished the book and discussed how important it is to try new things and experience all types of food. This was my moment, I asked her if she wanted to go to sushi with me.
"No," she said.
"Why not? We just talked about trying all these new types of foods!"
"Because we read Yoko at school and I tried it at international food day and I just don't like it."
Okay, it's genetic, but I still have my youngest!