August 18, 2005


One often hears about children looking with suspicion upon any food that is green. Thus far, with my children this has not been too much of a problem. That's not to say that they eat all green things. They'd rather not be within 10 feet of zucchini or okra. They'll only eat spinach when it isn't cooked and asparagus when it is prepared certain ways. Still, the fact that they'll eat spinach, asparagus, broccoli, green beans and edamame, has always satisfied my motherly, "Are they getting some healthy foods?" worry.

No, my children don't suspect evil lurking in the green corners of their plates. Over here it is the red things. Tomatoes are the specific object of distain, fear and loathing, but anything red is suspect. They both used to like red peppers, but now they often push them to the side of their plate, or on to the table or hand me anything red -- just out of the fear that it might actually be a tomato I'm trying to sneak past them.

Things reached new heights the other night when I was preparing dinner and my five year old peeked into the casserole dish and announced, "Oh no. We're all doomed. There are tomatoes in there."

I think next year I'll grow green and yellow tomatoes just to see what happens.


Red peppers were my problem, not tomatoes, until this summer when I told my son it was "sweet" red peppers. Now he loves them.

Posted by: Earth Girl at August 18, 2005 10:01 AM

Maybe you could make it into a competition--or act like it's a cool secret--"Pssst! Don't let your sister and brother know, but taste of THIS!" Of course, let everyone else hear you say that it's a secret and think that she's getting something THEY aren't, and you'll have 'em fighting over red things.

Then again, maybe this isn't such a hot idea...

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 18, 2005 10:44 AM

Many years ago (summer of 1978) our two older boys were one and three, and our garden was producing more zucchini than we could eat. The younger boy absolutely hated the stuff.

Once, we had zucchini sliced in half, broiled with parmesan cheese on top. He didn't recognize it and was eating it OK. However, the older kid, who usually ate whatever we put in front of him, was dilly-dallying and not eating. Dumb ol' dad said "eat your zucchini, or you won't get any dessert." Well, the younger kid heard that awful word, spit out what was in his mouth, and clamped his little lips and teeth shut.

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at August 18, 2005 11:55 AM

It's the highlight of the evening meal when my 7 yr. old comes to the table and proclaims "Ugh, what's this?!", followed by "I'm not eating that." Last night, per my request, we had BLT's using garden tomatoes (yum). Since the youngster does not like bacon he got his own bowl of warmed-over soup from a can.

What makes it difficult for you is an older brother setting the "trend" for the younger siblings. You're doomed!

Posted by: MarcV at August 18, 2005 12:53 PM

You have wise children. Everyone knows tomatoes are the devil's fruit, put here on earth to ruin mankind.

Peppers, on the other hand, come directly from heaven. Especially when they're grilled. If you can take out a home equity loan, you should be able to afford to buy yellow or orange peppers instead, which will end the confusion. Actually, Costco up here sells wonderful peppers, and very cheap.

Posted by: skinnydan at August 19, 2005 12:15 PM