Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Farmer's Market Experiment

Aaahh. Here is Daphne, trying a new food and giving it a thumb's up. This is a rare thing these days. Don't get me wrong. She's really a pretty good eater. Lately, though, getting her to try anything new is a battle. But today, I got her to try two things she's never had, with a promise to try one more.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

It all started this afternoon when I was checking in with one of my favorite blogs about cooking - Dinner: A Love Story. Today's post was all about getting kids to try new foods. You should really go read it because it's a very interesting and entertaining post, but if you don't, I'll give you the gist. The writer of the post, in an attempt to get his kids to try new foods, gives them their own money to spend as they wish at the farmer's market and the grocery store as long as they promise to eat what they buy. The theory is similar to the "if they cook it, they will eat it" theory that I'm always going on about. If kids are in some way invested in the food, they are more likely to give it a try. And it totally worked. "I MUST TRY THIS, TOO," I thought.

About the time I finished reading the article, Daphne came downstairs after a failed nap attempt. The wheels started turning. Conveniently, there is a farmer's market down the street from my house every Wednesday afternoon. And conveniently, I needed eggs (because I am finally feeling like I have my act together enough to make ravioli with my new pasta machine - but that's another post). So, I said to Daphne, "Hey, I have a deal for you. Let's take a walk to the farmer's market so I can get eggs, and I'll give you five dollars to buy whatever you want. But it has to be something you haven't had before and you have to promise to try it."

Her immediate response was, "No way, Mom. I am NOT taking that deal."

A few minutes went by.

"OK, Mom, I'll take the deal IF you wear something fancy to the Farmer's Market."

Um, OK.  Weird, but OK.   "How about if I wear that necklace you made for me? It's fancy."

And a deal was made. I put on the necklace:

Daphne got her five dollars:

And we hit the farmer's market.

The first things we checked out were some interesting looking squashes. "They're so pretty!" I said. "They are really sweet," said the produce lady. "No thanks," said Daphne. Defeat.

But then, we saw the cherry samples. Daphne has never had cherries except the ones that come on ice cream sundaes. She wanted to try one! Success!

And just like that, she happily spent three of her five dollars on some beautiful sweet cherries.

"Can I get something else, Mom?"

"You sure can! You still have two dollars."

So, she picked yellow beans (she's only ever had green ones).

And just for fun, I got the pretty pattypan squash and told her I was going to try something new, too.

She was so proud buying those beans all by herself.

When we got home, I washed a couple of the beans, and she gobbled them up. "These are SO yummy!" And that brings us back to that first picture up there. Daphne, eating her first yellow bean, and giving it the thumbs up. Granted, yellow beans and cherries are not the most exotic things she could have picked, but they were new and exciting to her. Baby steps. And she even promised to try some of the squash when I cook it.

So thank you, Dinner: A Love Story, for the great idea. It worked. And it was fun.

Sadly, there were no eggs at the market today, so I had to get some at Safeway. Ravioli has been made. Tomorrow, it will be eaten. I will let you know how it goes. There will be pictures either way.

1 comment:

Gye Greene said...

Great post!

Weird: I've been out of the country for so long that the five dollar bill looks weird to me: Abe's head is all big and mutant. When I was last in the States, I think they'd only got down to the tens (or maybe even the twenties) with mondo-sizing the portraits.