When the girls were younger I could get them to eat anything; brussel sprouts, prunes and asparagus were happily eaten at mealtimes with no complaining. Fast forward a few years and all that has changed. Now they will only eat a certain kind of orange. You read that right, a certain kind of orange. Clementines are gobbled up like candy around here, but I had six large Valencia oranges leftover from our produce bin. No-one would touch them. So after spending the day helping at preschool learning about the Chinese New Year, we came home with our very own set of chopsticks. I decided to put them to good use. Luckily we had a few extra sets of learning chopsticks lying around to use as well.
I challenged the girls to a relay race at lunch. Whoever could carry their orange segments across the kitchen, back to their seat at the kitchen table and eat them without dropping them was the winner. Those oranges disappeared faster than I could say “Gong Hey Fat Choy.” Giggling and excitement filled the kitchen as slice after slice of orange vanished. I was the real winner here.
This works amazingly well for other questionable fruits and vegetables. Broccoli, aka little trees, can be easily picked up with chopsticks. Cauliflower, aka snowy trees, also love to be devoured with chopsticks. The more difficult to pick up, the better. It keeps the kids busy longer and even more determined to eat whatever is evading them.
And if all else fails, throw your hair in a messy bun and shove two chopsticks in it. Fabulous hair, done. At least the effort wasn’t a total loss.