Recently, I’ve been having some issues with getting my 6-year-old, Keegan, to eat his veggies. He’s normally very good about trying new foods, even if it doesn’t look like something he wants to eat at first. Usually he will take at least one hesitant, tiny bite, and even if his reaction is a decisive “Nope, I don’t like that,” I am happy that at least he’s tried it.
His willingness to try things helped me so much during recipe testing for my cookbook (which I was doing almost daily throughout the months of November and December). I had been working on my recipe for Herb and Garlic Whole Wheat Breadsticks, and they just hadn’t been coming out right. On my 6th attempt, I reluctantly carried the plate of flat, crispy breadsticks to the table, embarrassed that they weren’t the thick, soft, beautifully browned bites of deliciousness I’d envisioned. I didn’t even want to ask Keegan to try one, but I think he was just as hopeful as I had been that this time they would be yummy. He picked one up and enthusiastically took a bite – an earth-shakingly crunchy bite. Feeling awful, I told him how sorry I was that they weren’t right AGAIN, that these ones were SO hard. And he responded, in a completely matter-of-fact tone, “That’s OK, mom – I want to lose a tooth anyway!” Although I came to find out that the underlying reason for his comment was his excitement for the Tooth Fairy to come, in that moment I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. What he’d said was hilarious, but the fact that I’d failed so miserably felt utterly defeating. It took me a couple of weeks to get over that incident and do more research, and then I tried again. Finally, on my 7th attempt, I pulled from my oven a glorious pan of golden brown, soft, aromatic, delicious breadsticks – and my entire family was elated with the result of my determination.
My point? Never give up! Which brings me back to the beginning of the story and Keegan’s sudden inexplicable distaste for veggies. For weeks, he’d been reluctant to eat them in any way, shape, or form. Finally, one ordinarily calm, sunny afternoon, we sat at our kitchen table, Keegan munching on his trusty PB&J – Nyah and I enjoying crackers dipped in cream cheese veggie dip. Though I’d made this several times over the past couple of months, Keegan had shown zero interest. This time, though, without invitation, he tried it. He liked it so much he ate two bowls of it right away and asked me to pack some in his lunch for school the next day. Patient persistence has its place in so many aspects of a mother’s life, and in this case it totally paid off.
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