Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kid appeal – renaming food

As an editor, I had a saying, ‘when in doubt, recast.’ In other words, if you couldn’t figure out how to fix a sentence, rewrite it.

Feeding kids can be an exercise in recasting, or renaming. This started years ago in my home, when my oldest daughter, Hallie, refused to eat Indian food. If you are a vegetarian and you don’t eat Indian food, you might as well say you don’t drink water. You just HAVE to eat vegetarian friendly Indian food.

Hallie was still pretty young, maybe around four, and certainly not reading when I realized I could just say that we were having Pakistani food for dinner and she’d be none the wiser. In fact, she loved it. What’s not to love? Dumplings (called pakora), tofu korma in a nut enhanced sauce, curried vegetables, rice. Indian (er, Pakistani) food has become a staple of her diet.

Another vegetarian dish my husband and I love is riboletta. This stew-y soup, loaded with vegetables, has a broth thickened with pureed white beans and sourdough bread. For whatever reason, my kids decided they hated it. They wouldn’t even try.

But I persevered. I renamed it bread soup and they spoon it up happily.

Now, if there only were a new name I could give to spinach salad..

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