As with all of my best parent moves, this was a happy accident that happened last night.
Step 1: Eat healthy food often, especially if no one in your household will eat it. In fact, the more your family refuses to eat healthy food, the more you should eat it.
Step 2: Wait patiently.
Step 3: One day your kid(s) will ask you if they can eat what you’re eating. Remind them they don’t like it and you don’t want to waste food. When you have given your best effort to convince them they won’t like it, let them have a taste.
This is the exchange I had with Ana last night…
Ana: “Mommy, can I have some of that cheese?”
Me: “This is tofu, not cheese. And you don’t like it.”
(30 seconds later)
Ana: “Mommy, I really want some of that cheese.”
Me: “Ana, I just told you, this is tofu, not cheese. I’ve given it to you before and you just mush it all up and I end up throwing it away. I really don’t like wasting food.”
Ana: “But I really do like it.”
Me: “No. You really don’t.”
Ana: “But I really do Mommy.”
Me: “Ok, fine. I’ll give you a bite and then you can remember that you don’t like it…. although now that I’ve put so much effort into reminding you don’t like it, I’m sure you’re going to love it.”
Ana: “I like it.”
So I made her a plate and she ate the entire thing.
In case you’re wondering what in the heck I was eating, it is a simple version of the Japanese dish hiyayakko. My Japanese grandma used to feed this to me when I was a kid. It is cold silken tofu, shoyu (soy sauce) and furikake.
You can read about a more proper version at Bebe Love Okazu. She has a beautiful photo of the dish.