After a long day and time spent in the kitchen lovingly preparing a healthy meal for your family, the last thing a Mom wants to hear is “I don’t like this” or “this tastes yucky.” Moms will often at this point avoid the battle and go the short-order cook route and prepare a different food for the child with the discerning tastes. Instead, put together a tray or basket of condiments and allow your child to season it up to their preference.
Empathize with your child and reassure them that you understand it is not their favorite meal; however you put time and effort into creating it. You might say, “Perhaps you can take a seasoning from the basket and make your own creation!” Keep it fun and light and engage their natural sense of curiosity.
Often a few simple condiments or spices can totally transform the taste of a meal and make it more enticing. Create a condiment tray for your table so that you and your family can personalize every meal. Lazy Susans are perfect for storing all the different condiments on your table. Here are some suggested condiments to experiment with. Feel free to add your favorites, and look for those with minimal ingredients, additives and processing.
- Tamari or soy sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Lemon pepper
- Dijon mustard
- Italian herb blend
- Chili powder or paprika
- Salsa or hot sauce
Condiments have been a life saver for my picky-eating son. I remember the days when he put soy sauce on everything he ate; including eggs (sounds gross, huh?). He even received soy sauce in his stocking one year from Santa! These days hot sauce is king. Condiments are an excellent way to bridge a picky eater’s food preferences and expand their palates to new textures or tastes. I encourage you to give your child free reign of the condiments and put your short-order cooking aside for good.
What condiments work for your child? What interesting combinations do they like to include in their meals?