This Shabbos we were at a friend's house. We had a wonderful time and I don't remember the exact context but at some point we were discussing cauliflower and my 8-year-old son interjected, "what's cauliflower?"
I have to say that I was quite embarrassed.
My sister has really inspired me with her blog: Dinnertime! but I have never imagined pulling off what she routinely manages with her busy life in terms of feeding her 4 guys healthy interesting homemade meals.
Still, after I realized that my children don't even know what vegetables are I decided to introduce them.
To be clear, I don't really like vegetables all that much. My house is always full of fruit and the kids eat a lot of that. Vegetables just kind of make me feel sick when I eat them.
But putting all that aside, on Sunday I bought cauliflower and asparagus. The kids are getting vegetables with their meals at least a few times a week - for now.
Today was the cauliflower, which was covered in cheese because how else was I going to eat it?
I put it on the table next to a plate of sliced up avocado. My daughter was happy because like any normal human she thought this meant I was going to give her some tortilla chips and make guacamole for her right then and there.
But, given the steaming pile of unknown cheese covered something on the table, she didn't start crying when I said we were not having chips with this dinner.
I put avocado pieces and cauliflower on both of my kids' plates. Noah was beside himself. He immediately started listing foods I could give him instead and asked if that was the main thing for dinner.
Noah: What is that? It smells! I'm not eating that. You can't make me try it.
There was homemade pizza in the oven so I calmly said to them both, "yes, you have to try it. You don't have to eat it or like it, but you have to try it."
I think they both wanted to try it because after minimal whining and gentle, loving reassurance from me that they did have to try it and it was going to be fine, as I attended to the pizza I heard gags and spitting. I turned around quickly and saw Noah half smiling half teary-eyed.
"You guys are awesome!" I exclaimed.
"That was disgusting!" they answered.
But yesterday at B'nai Jehudah's "Mitzvah Garden" my daughter tried three different kinds of peppers and sweet potato because of course I'll try ANYTHING if I actually picked it off a plant or out of the ground.
Noah was helping the guys build a gate so I didn't get him to try much but he offered that he would eat a tomato at home - which is INSANE for my son.
Remembering this, and not being satisfied with the tiny bite of cauliflower, I cut up a tomato and put a chunk on Noah's plate. He took a bite and said it was too sweet.
I had a very happy dinner and I'm going to keep this up every night until maybe one day soon my kids are eating normal food and we can start having some real fun at dinnertime in my house too!!