I'm a foodie, and the mother of two picky eaters. Not the best combination. I grew up eating everything my parents ever fed me (and, for the most part, liking it), so my kids' finicky tastes still surprise and frustrate me. Cajoling, threatening, dousing with cheese/ketchup/butter hasn't worked. We're in this for the long haul.
I've had a small measure of success with what I call "gateway" foods. If I can find a food they like, I try to serve them something slightly different, but in the same category, soon thereafter. I also draw as many creative parallels as I can between this slightly different something to the already-approved gateway food.
For example, my kids like french fries. All potatoes are now compared to lovely, delicious, non-threatening french fries. French fries lead to hash browns, which lead to potato latkes…
Here are some more gateway foods I've discovered:
• Hot cereal: cream of wheat
• Condiments: ketchup
• Beans: edamame (shelled soybeans, available frozen)
• Green vegies: broccoli, artichokes
• Orange vegies: pumpkin (pumpkin pie and jack o'lanterns helped here)
I'm always looking for inspiration — which "approved" foods have nudged your kids further along the culinary path?