Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cracking the Quiche Code

I have always been envious of amazing food presentation, especially when it comes to food targeted towards children. The first food book I received at my baby shower back in 2005 was Annabel Karmel's First Meals. Unfortunately this book sets the bar pretty high in terms of food presentation.

Along with my shower guests, I ogled and swooned over the adorable pictures of food. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and was pretty sure it'd be really easy to make dishes likes these to entice my child to eat.

Definitely assembled by someone who doesn't have kids

It's the movie 'Heathers' in burger form

Just another example of how unrealistic I was before I had children. Completely, utterly, hopelessly delusional.

When my son was old enough to eat food that wasn't pureed and I was back at work , it became apparent that I didn't have time to form his food into the shape of a caterpillar or a butterfly. I needed him to eat the same food as us. But for another year I was stuck in the pasta rut and dutifully served him some kind of pasta practically every day. It was my own mother who gave me the (obvious) advice and said, "Stop serving him pasta. Give him the same dinners that you eat. He will come around." I took her advice a step further and put cottage cheese on the table as a peace offering. I didn't anticipate World War III at the dinner table, but sadly it started out that way.

One day I made my mother-in-law's spinach feta quiche for dinner and I stood at the kitchen counter and stared at it. How was I going to serve this to a 3 year old? How could anyone in their right mind expect a preschooler to willingly eat quiche, for goodness sake? This was asking too much.

But then inspiration hit. I scooped up the quiche filling, tossed it with hot pasta and placed it infront of him with no pleading, no encouraging words and no explanation.

He looked at the dish in front of him and then looked at my husband and I, trying to make sense of what was in front of him. I didn't want to look at him (remember Happy Fun Ball?), so I stared at a speck on the wall and my husband tried to look distracted while polishing a fork. He took a bite. And another bite. And another bite. And then proceeded to eat the entire bowl...which was the equivalent of two slices of quiche with 1/2 cup of pasta.

A quiche fan was born and I am proud to report that he now eats quiche by the slice with no "slight of pasta" required. But the trick still works like a charm with my 2 year old. I feel like I cracked the quiche code with my kids.

So the moral of this story is to think outside of the quiche. I can't say serving your child quiche is a great idea, but try serving it mixed with or along side a familiar food is the way to go.

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