on kids and food bravery (minty stuffed peppers)

When Margot first ate food she swallowed everything we did, puréed. I proudly proclaimed I didn’t believe in kid food, that people food would do just fine for all members of our family. A year later something shifted and Margot, who once ate peanut curry, tomato pie and fish tacos, would suddenly only eat white food with a hint of color (thankfully, homegirl has always loved beets, carrots, peas and fruit). Tofu, bread, rice, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, oatmeal, popcorn, noodles. White whitey white. What happened to my foodie? I wondered, bummed.

Margot, six months old

It was so easy for us to make her what she’d eat and we did get in that habit for a bit until we noticed Ruby taking notes and Margot burrowing into picky eating habits. We decided to reinstate our family food rule: one meal is made for all of us. Everyone has to try it. If they don’t like it there is a handful of healthy snacks to choose from (more on this below) but another meal will not be made.

And you know what? It works for us. My kids try everything and like most anything. I have found a few tricks and, in response to many inquiries about food and kids, here are a few things that work for our family:

:: When introducing a new vegetable, I often dice it up and include it in something they already like (for example, chopped brussels sprouts in a soup or diced mushrooms in rice) to allow my kids to try the flavor without psyching themselves out over what it looks like. Then, I pull out the whole vegetable and talk about it with them and we take bites. The kids gain confidence in food identification and taste. It demystifies the whole thing.

:: I include my kids in meal preparation. They are naturally invested in something they helped to make.

:: Trying food is non-negotiable. We all take a bite of everything prepared for us. This is a part of our mealtime culture and our kids don’t even question it. Sure, absolutely, they sometimes don’t want to try it. Sometimes, they writhe in their chair while painfully looking at dinner. In these cases, Andy and I say ok, you are welcome to have something else just as soon as you try it. Take your time. Not exaggerating: 99% of the time, they try it and like it. Sometimes they don’t like it and have a small selection of snacks to choose from: almonds, tofu, carrots and apples. Important: *It’s always the same so the snack option isn’t exciting or alluring.*

:: We grow and harvest food together. Again, they are invested in and excited about a beet they planted from seed and yanked from the earth.

:: I use herbs and spices and interesting ingredients in our food, I don’t dumb it down for the kids. This way they are used to a wide variety of flavors. Examples: add curry to tuna salad, add soy sauce to popcorn, add cilantro to soup.

A few days ago, open windows and a hungry friend recovering from surgery inspired me to get creative in the kitchen. My foodie spirit was on fire as I made a meal out of ingredients on hand that turned out pretty great. It was easy and the whole fam loved it.

turns out there is a GIANT mint bed at our new house

Minty Stuffed Peppers
serves 6

6 large bell peppers
1 onion, chopped
handful fresh mint, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups brown or wild rice, prepared
2 6 oz cans tomato paste

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

pinto beans
juice of one lime
dried oregano
plain yogurt

Prepare the rice and beans. Or, open a can of beans. Although I cannot recommend freshly cooked beans enough. They will change your opinion of beans. We use a pressure cooker and make beans in 25 minutes that’ll knock your socks off. Also, we are headed to northern California in a week (!!) and are making a special day trip just to see the Rancho Gordo bean farm and store. Oh, and, I am thinking of doing a little meet and greet somewhere, being that I’ve ‘met’ so many dear Cali people through this online world. Are you interested? It sounds kind of fun to me. Anyway, beans! They can be epic.

Preheat oven to 400 degree. Toast pine nuts. To “toast” pine nuts quickly, I toss them in a cast iron fry pan and cook over high heat, stirring constantly until brown and fragrant. Do this and set aside. Combine pine nuts, most of the mint, garlic, onion, a few teaspoons of cumin, a few teaspoons of salt and cheese in a large bowl.


In a separate bowl (or rice pot), combine the tomato paste and rice. Don’t over-stir and make your rice mushy. You may need to add a bit of water to make stirring easier.


Slice the tops off the peppers. Remove seeds and insides.


Pop out the stems and chop the pepper tops.

Ruby helped out with this meal. 

Margot was busy parenting her chicks.

Add chopped pepper tops to pine nut mixture. Combine pine nut mixture and rice mixture. Scoop the filling into the hollowed out peppers, overfilling a bit. Place stuffed peppers in a pan with a bit (like 1/4 inch) of water in the bottom. Cook for about 45 minutes.

While the peppers are cooking, make the simple pinto bean side dish: Combine beans, lime juice, oregano, rest of mint and salt.


Serve peppers with beans on the side, a generous dollop of yogurt on top of beans.

Sorry no pic of beautifully plated meal (blogger no no), we gobbled it right up.

Plus, the meal was easy and colorful to transport to our friends.


How does your family approach mealtime and food exploration with kids? I’d love to know what works for you! Also, how ’bout raising a glass in Point Reyes or San Francisco? Let me know about that too.


50 Responses to on kids and food bravery (minty stuffed peppers)

  1. You name the time and the place in NorCal and I will be there! This dish looks fab, by the way. I remember eating what my parents ate as a kid. Dinner was a family thing, no special meals.

  2. Peeper says:

    My formerly great eater has declined to a picky kid who only snacks on certain things and refuses anything new. It’s a habit I hope to break as soon as the last day of my job rolls around and the nanny is out of the picture (think fish sticks and pasta). I’ll keep these rules in mind.

    Definitely a M&G in N CA! If you’re coming to SF let me know – more realistic for me than Pt. Reyes though my husband and I are desperate for a daytime date that includes Osteria Stellina. Anyway, the new playground at Mission Dolores is amazing! The girls would love it, it’s by the Bi-Rite ice cream store and a quick ride on the 33 bus for us.

  3. Katie! It’d be so fun to MEET you.

    Peeper, I think we are going to the Bi-Rite cookbook reception one night…we are going to see our friend who was the photographer for the book (http://www.paigegreen.com/). I don’t know deets just yet!

  4. Lillian says:

    YUM – definitely adding that to a menu plan in the upcoming weeks! We have almost the same options for dinner alternative- carrots, apples or a piece of bread:)

  5. Natalie T. says:

    Lucky! Have a great trip! (we are from Petaluma/Santa Rosa area and miss it so much!) you enjoy California and we will enjoy some peppers. :)

  6. Hazel says:

    My gosh those chicks have grown!
    Love this recipe. it’s so beautiful as well as tasty. What a score on the mint front, our patch is going like crazy under the kitchen window, near a tap. I love the smell of fresh mint. I used some in the spanakopita (I always have to make sure I don’t type or say spankopita, oh dear my brain is wrong!) I made yesterday.

    Thanks for those tips on children and eating. It’s funny we were talking about it last night. Rob’s 16 year old daughter sounded pretty similar, loved all their food, pesto etc and then switched at some stage. Steph is quite an independent soul, but has come around to eating most things by the time she was 13! She doesn’t live with us, and has been going through some dietary issues over the last few years, so sharing food with her has become difficult. Which is hard for Rob cause it’s one of the ways he shows affection and love and it’s been virtually impossible to share a meal.
    They’re getting there though.

    With the baby we hope to have, we’re thinking like you that helping in the garden and tending the food that we will eat will play a big part in hopefully their acceptance of food at the table.
    You’re so wise Nici. I like that.

  7. 1. Been thinking about you today.
    2. This is our exact philosophy. But it somehow sounds more exotic coming from you. :)

  8. Sarah Fox says:

    Kids and food- my favorite topic! I’m a family doctor and I cringe at what I see some kids eating. We have gone through the same transition- our oldest is now seven and she turned finicky at age 2. We kept offering a wide variety of healthy foods, and she miraculously, at age 5, turned adventurous again. Like morels over pasta, grilled asparagus, and plain spinach salad for dinner tonight adventurous. My son’s now 5 and he’s starting to outgrow his pickiness, and my 2 1/2 year old hasn’t yet refused any food we’ve offered (so we’re hoping to skip that stage with her!). We try not to make them try things they’re unsure of, but we do say, “this is what we’re eating, next meal is breakfast”. Glad to know there are other parents out there doing the same!

  9. Whitney says:

    our approach is the same. Dinner is dinner, for all of us. Lunch is usually leftovers of whatever we had for dinner. We have the “you have to try a bite” rule, too. I don’t even offer snacks if they don’t like dinner. There’s always something “safe” on the dinner plate, so they can eat that (sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.) for their entire dinner if they choose. Sometimes they eat very little for dinner, but they never beg for snacks because they know that’s not an option (and they’ve yet to starve from not eating a full dinner every now and then).

    Another thing – we don’t keep snacks in our house. By snacks, I mean crackers, goldfish, etc. I find that when I have them, they’re all the kids want, but when those snacks are not in my cupboard, the kids don’t even think about them.

  10. Angela says:

    Having a garden and including my girls in food prep has been the best thing to make them adventurous eaters!! With my first I did “kid” food and she is pickier, we are just lucky she loves her veggies. Our second we didn’t do that and she eats everything…grape leaves, hummus (my hubby is Lebanese), seafood, you name it! And, just doing family dinner, one meal and no substitutes for anyone, usually works for us!! Your pepper dish is beautiful…I’m gonna have to try that one!

  11. Nicola says:

    Your food philosophy is fantastic. Loving, patient yet firm. It is amazing what great results come from firm expectations.

  12. We make one meal and if the girls don’t eat, well-they don’t eat.
    We really try to eat whole foods and make as much as we can from scratch. You wouldn’t find hamburger helper in my pantry.
    We have chicks growing in our garage and a coop to pick up tomorrow. Our goal is delicious, healthful eggs and a lesson on where food comes from for the girls.
    Meet and greet sounds fun for the Cali peeps. Let me know if you’re ever headed to Michigan!

  13. Heather says:

    Yum, I am a stuffed pepper fan, yes indeedy. Jealous that you get to visit RG. Oogle some beans for me! Osh was late to food but so far a kickass eater and here is one tip I would add: we are a one pot family. Like, maybe it goes over rice or quinoa or polenta, but basically: it’s all in there. This is not only how it’s easiest for us to cook, but it gives the small human far less chance to rank the ingredients. We, like you, chop, mince, or otherwise diminish all types of crazy non-toddler (whatever that means) stuff into everything we eat. Makes this mama way less stressy…



  14. Maggie says:

    I pretty much feel like one crappy mama. We rock Annie’s mac and cheese in this house. If it prevents one tantrum from happening, then I definitely fold. I will say that I am so tired of making two different meals every night. Why does dinner have to be at the end of day, when I’m exhausted and more likely to give in? Ugh…

  15. Unknown says:

    I would love to meet you if you do a little meet and greet in nor cal. Life is crazy busy and I live an hour north of San Fran, so can’t promise, but I would really love to meet you!

  16. Mary Thomas says:

    Oof we are going through a tough food time. My 20 month old is a milkaholic and I am 5 months pregnant. So, apparently an addiction to whole milk will make it tough to absorb iron. He’s “low normal” and likes to sample at least 5 different foods during each meal. I’m. Exhausted. I don’t make it a rule to run around trying to please every whim my child has, but the combo problems have us eating in interesting, creative, and scandalous ways at the moment. I hope to return to actual meals once this baby is 6 months old! I miss it!

  17. Ellie says:

    Our food rules are similar to yours, except we don’t offer snacks and we pretty much insist on their eating at least “some” of their dinner. We have some food allergies still left to negotiate, so that makes things a bit tricky, but for the most part, we expect them to eat what everyone else has for dinner. My key to success lately is soups and stews. I can put anything in a soup or a stew, and the kids, for the most part, won’t question it. Last week we had a soup with collard greens and black-eyed peas. Tonight we had pasta with rainbow chard and bacon. Stuff like that. As long as the veggies are chopped and mixed up with something else, which is how we grew up eating in Eastern Europe, the kids will eat them.
    Are you seriously coming to NorCal? We’re coming to Missoula this summer, so was thinking about stopping by to say hello, but we’d meet you in NorCal as well. If you’d like to see the Peninsula (Palo Alto, Mountain View, etc.), hike a park or two, and/or visit Google, we’ll happily arrange.

  18. Tammi says:

    Well, seeing that I was lame and just barely missed you the last time you were here – yes, I would love to finally meet you. Let me know what you work out. I’ll be in SF on May 5th taking Grady to an illustration class at 826 Valencia (they have a pirate store in front and your girls might get a kick out of and the taxidermy shop next door with a really cool unicorn in their shop!) in the Mission.

    We’re about less than a half an hour from Petaluma.

    Travel safe and enjoy your time with your BFF and HAH.

  19. Jeanne says:

    Omg, do you know how easy it is to serve chicken nuggets? I can now see why half the kids in America have this addiction! Up u til a month ago my kids did not know what these were. We have the same rules, try everything, dinner is for the family and the next time for food is breakfast. I let them decide on lunch most days. That way they have some choice. I have found that if they try that really disgusting green bean that surely is filled with poison, they usually like it and gobble it right up. It is sort of the speed bump of the feeding process.

  20. Smaychel says:

    I have a really bad relationship with my mother as a result of many many things, one of which was how she would force feed my sisters and I. It’s left me with a lot of food issues, and my sister with a full blown eating disorder. I now struggle to eat a lot of food, and food is an incredibly distressing issue for me.

    I now have a one year old daughter and find a whole lot of new struggles with food. They’re mostly mine, she does eat very well. I agree that when people try new food they often end up liking it. However I don’t think I could bring myself to in any way pressure her into eating something she didn’t want to put in her mouth.

    Also, I have to say, I have memories of not liking things because my mum’s cooking sucked, and part of me now worries that maybe my cooking just isn’t good enough.

    I really appreciate this recipe and the tips. I find it so easy to just slip into a routine of always eating the same things, so I’ve been making a conscious effort to try new things – however it’s hard to balance trying new things with making food that I know how to make well and know my family actually likes.

    I definitely do a lot of offering food, no big deal if she eats it or not, and then offering healthy snacks later. And her and I almost always eat the same foods.

    It’s all made somewhat more difficult by my husband, who also has an incredible number of food issues and literally only eats about twelve different things. So we have always had different meals for him and for me. And there really is nothing to be done on this front for him, we work on it the very best we can but it is slow and he will never be a “normal” eater, that’s just the way he is and something we’ve made peace with.

    I suppose I worry a LOT about not passing these food issues on to our daughter. I worry if its even possible for her to have a good relationship with food after all of this.

    I’m very happy to read blog posts like this which actually talk about food and offer practical advice. If anyone has any other advice to offer, it would be gratefully received x.

    And I think your kids are so very lucky to have such wonderful food available to them and such a great example of healthy living, thinking and eating in you.

  21. mumofsix says:

    Love your food posts. Thank you. Can I ask you how your kids would eat a stuffed pepper? Do you cut Ruby’s up for her or does she just pick it up? We do eat the same food but sometimes when I’m chopping my little ones meal it doesn’t look as appetising as everyone else’s. I think he would just baulk at a stuffed pepper!

    Food can become such an emotional issue. My heart swells when my kids tuck into and enjoy a healthy meal and I feel so proud when his green beans are the first thing my 2 year old grabs off his plate. I think it’s particularly difficult when they are little when you want the best chance of a good nights sleep and just want them to EAT something. wise words from you though and I think the growing and preparing of food is certainly true. I’ve just checked on our seedlings!

    How exciting re North California. If you ever do Europe, you are most welcome in Brighton, East Sussex, England!

    Love Cup and Gold. How big they are x

    Always buy tinned beans. A pressure cooker is the way forward then?

  22. TRB Holt says:

    A YUMMY post Burb!

    Mint, did you say MINT!!!! Now can you say, “bootleg” :0}

    xoxo, Mom

  23. BRH says:

    Looks delicious. I will definitely be trying this recipe. And I loved the photo of Margot as a wee babe. :)

  24. Zoe says:

    My soon-to-be 8 yr old son was once a fussy eater (although he loved shrimp and broccoli), but I never fixed him a separate meal, the only exception being salmon. He has tried it and doesn’t like it, so I do break out the fishsticks for him. He also likes his meatballs with no sauce, but that’s no biggie in my book as he will gobble up my chicken pasts sauce which is packed full of bell peppers of every color, as well as carrots and celery. He actually surprised me the other night by wanting korma sauce on his chicken, and ate some asparagus with no fussing.

    My 4 year old is like Margot. Used to be a great eater, but now she says she hates everything I set before her. Except she really doesn’t and eats it anyway. We have the try at least one bite rule too, and the eat two more bits and you can get down rule. The little one is 19 mths, and still eats everything with gusto. I hope she keeps it up. But after going through the fussy years with my boy, and know it’s not a battle worth fighting and everyone comes out the other side with a healthy appetite for different foods.

  25. Similar but a bit meaner here. We make one meal and that’s what’s for dinner, peeps.

    I know that at heart both my kids are adventurous and experimental eaters, and I also know that if given the choice to have something different, at least one kid will push for that…and push…and push.

    Something very helpful for us is coming to the dinner table hungry. We have a light snack in the afternoon and no snacks after 4pm.

    I also make sure that, when getting funky with the evening meal, that there is always something they for sures like on the plate.


    ps: fir or spruce?

  26. KWQR says:

    Hells yes! Would love to meet you IRL. SF, Petaluma or anywhere in between are easiest for me, but with enough lead time can try to make just about anywhere work.

    At our house we have totally fallen into the kid-food zone. My pre-kid self would be horrified… it comes on so slowly it is difficult to say where it began. My guys would eat anything from the start… but now at ages 5-1/2 & 4-1/2 are so resistant to anything colorful. Thank god for smoothies or I don’t know what I would do! This is an area I have high hopes to change before it is too late. We are getting ready to introduce our littlest little to real food… am hoping to use this as a chance to “reset” their palates. Thanks for the tips!

  27. Jeanna says:

    Reading about your experience was like reliving mine. My older son, who will be 5 this summer, was dubbed Leftover Boy as a baby; he’d eat ANYTHING. Then he abruptly hated dishes he inhaled only the week prior. Sooo frustrating! Thankfully things have improved, mostly due to a similar meal philosophy: he has to taste everything on his plate. We don’t offer snacks in lieu of dinner, but then he has never asked for other food. Though I try to offer more simple fare as often as I can to keep him happy, I also experiment with new dishes and flavors to expand his tastes. I know that as he grows, his tastebuds will continue to change so I’m not afraid to occasionally repeat a dish he previously didn’t love.

  28. Noelani P says:

    Oh, I would so love to see you while in NorCal (last spent time before Lindsay’s wedding — Ruby just a babe!) and it would give me such a good reason to see Lindsay and Paige too (not since the holidays!) but I’m traveling for work the next two weeks. I wish you a wonderful trip. The food here is so amazing, I’m looking forward to it for you!!

  29. Janae says:

    While I don’t have kids in my family (yet), I do have a picky eater as a husband that I have expanded into the worlds of sushi, hummus, okra, etc. While I still have to work around some things like green peppers (I know, awful, right?), I find doing things like shredding up objects in objection makes it easier to pallet and sometimes hide if I know he won’t eat it if he knows… For instance, zuchini can be shredded in most every recipe. When I get to the point of having kids, I say bring it on finicky pallets!

  30. Lisa says:

    Introducing our kids to a variety of (healthy) foods is something that we have not done well at. We do eat pretty healthy overall (with indulgences, but the kids know these as “treats” that they don’t get often, so I guess that’s *one* thing we may be doing right??) But, I know that we do not do enough variety, and my kids do not eat enough veggies.
    I have been using the “we both work full-time and are too exhausted to cook good meals” excuse for far too long. 1. There are a lot of quick, easy meals out there, and 2. I know for a fact that stay at home parents are just as exhausted at the end of their full work day, so I need to just suck it up.
    Anyway, I have been reading your blog for a while, and you definitely inspire me to get back to the “you gotta try it” attitude, and I love your idea of a healthy snack alternative that is not so enticing that they skip dinner for it often.
    Thank you for the ideas, and I really admire how you feed your family! Someday…;)

  31. Teresa says:

    I love your rules! We try to cook real whole foods as much as possible. I also get my girls involved in the kitchen prep and we talk a lot about what is healthy and what is not for our bodies. We also make only one meal and we have a “one bite rule” everyone takes one bite of everything. If you don’t love it that is okay, sometimes we all have to eat things that we don’t exactly love because it is good for us and helps us to be our best healthiest selves. If the kids really dislike it, then they don’t have to eat it after the one bite. They also can have the standard healthy snacks and we move on. Our stand by snacks are any vegetable they want, hummus (my kids love hummus) carrots and apples. They both do really well. (they are 2 and 5 years old) and I have to say that they have come a long way. We made this our food philosophy and have stuck to it and they have both decided that it is okay. They both ate baby kale salad tonight with smiles so I figure it is working quite well.

  32. Julie says:

    Hi Nici! I am an avid reader of your blog (found you through Enjoying the Small Things) but I have never posted a comment before.

    Such great ideas! I love the idea of only offering a few non-negotiable snack items as an alternative. I will definitely be instituting some rules like that for our mealtimes. I have a 17 month old daughter who is a relatively good eater…but we definitely have our struggles. I have found that adding a little squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parmesean cheese to green vegetables has made all the difference! She will eat asparagus, broccoli and brussel sprouts in this fashion. The only other thing I do is give her vegetables first when she is really hungry. I feel better about giving her the mac and cheese if she fills up on half an avocado first. Granted, I realize she is still young and we have many toddler years ahead of us…hoping she doesn’t get pickier!

    Anyway, I adore your blog! Thanks for the great tips! Julie

  33. Kelly Cach says:

    AMEN, sister!!! That’s exactly the way it is in our house, except we don’t even offer a snack option—-but if we DID, I LOVE your approach to it: the same every time, and nothing too exciting.

    I’ve heard of the white food only stage….so interesting. I’d love to know more about that. And lordy, Margot as a baby!!!!

    My kids each have their own aversions to a few foods: Big boy—corn (unless it’s on the cob…crazy kid!) and onions (but little does he know how OFTEN I flavor our meals with them…muahahaha (evil laugh)). Little boy—no likey pickles or beets (again, crazy kid!). And baby sis—garbanzo & black beans (I may have to cook them longer with more seasonings).

    I think it helps that we have always let our kids experiment in the kitchen. Big boy loves to bake & cook, and little man makes a mean smoothie and ALWAYS chooses healthy snacks (ie. bananas, cucumbers & balsamic vinegar, cheese & apples, etc.). And they love to scour a cookbook for ingredients we have on hand.

    For our boys, I think it’s been especially helpful that Daddy loves to bake, and that he has given them the best example of being grateful. He is ALWAYS appreciative of a prepared meal, and never ever complains. And he always, always includes in his prayer, “….and thank you for the hands that prepared it.” Isn’t that sweet?

    Wow. I wrote a novel. Sorry ’bout that :). I guess I enjoy this topic. Thanks for asking!

    So jeals of the Cali folks, but happy for them , too.

  34. Seriously! You are the best cook I know! I am so trying this because every recipe you have posted ROCKS! BTW I have chickens now and the are by far my absolute favorite pet ever! I love my girls! Love them! Thanks for being you! Katie

  35. You know, I declared when I was pregnant that I refused to have a child that ate 5 white things – bread, rice, noodles, chicken nuggets, and french fries. Of course you don’t get to pick and choose if your child will be that way, but I had a few intentions that I learned from my mom:

    1) I did not restrict my diet while breastfeeding. Unless Alex was going to show signs of a major allergy, I wanted her to get used to the difference in the taste of milk as I ate different things.

    2) I decided to make her baby food and use herbs, roasted garlic, roasted veggies, etc so she got used to the variety of tastes and textures. Anyway it was healthier and a crapload tastier than the canned stuff.

    4) I prepare one meal. Every once in a while its fine for me to make her something different, but that would be just as a treat.

    5) I embrace incorporating all sorts of flavors. I haven’t tried soy sauce on popcorn, but we use a lot of herbs, spices, and veggies. And I’ll let her smell the spices as we add them so she can sense the differences.

    6) And now dealing with a preschooler, we have the 5 bite rule. You don’t have to clean your plate, but you must try 5 bites and you’re done. And it helps to have a spouse that’s on the same page. Really, I’m more concerned about installing industrial grade velcro to keep her somewhat close to the table.

    6) Like you, Alex is a part of the process. My mom incorporated me into the cooking process, and I’m carrying on the tradition. And since last year, we started vegetable gardening together. Kids really seem to love the process of making food grow. You should see her enthusiasm about the budding strawberries.

    Lastly I want to state that I’m not fooling myself into thinking that I created this great eater. I’m blessed to have a child that enjoys everything except for bell peppers. And when she tells me that broccoli cheese soup is the best thing she’s every had, I laugh and know that I have it easy.

    Have a rocking weekend!



  36. Anna Sonata says:

    Very nice, thanks for sharing.

    Anna @ sewa mobil jakarta

  37. Bea says:

    i have a well eating (almost)16 year old who ate everything we ate from the moment she began enjoying solids. she’s fun (and expensive!) to take to restaurants. our 10 year old went through the same “white period” but now eats with gusto–we gave her a bit more patience as food was a little scary at times because of food allergies. cooking, growing, shopping and dining together make it so much easier!

    we live just blocks from the Rancho Gordo store in Napa–quite a fun thing to have in our little town–enjoy!

  38. I am loving all the enthusiasm and ideas here.

    Also, am excited to meet a few folks in Cali! Tuesday night is the night…I’ll post deets.


  39. Hi! I’m sure other commenters might have posted something similar, but our new food rule is called, “the no-thank-you bite.” they have to try one bite and if they don’t like it can then say, “no thank you!” to the next one. Mine are like yours though and generally eat what they try. I feel like the no thank you bite kills two birds w one stone… My kids try new things and are also polite about it. Especially as going to restaurants and other people’s homes it helps them to deal with food there and to not seem like little brats if they don’t like something! Good read and I’ll have to try those peppers!

  40. Hi! I’m sure other commenters might have posted something similar, but our new food rule is called, “the no-thank-you bite.” they have to try one bite and if they don’t like it can then say, “no thank you!” to the next one. Mine are like yours though and generally eat what they try. I feel like the no thank you bite kills two birds w one stone… My kids try new things and are also polite about it. Especially as going to restaurants and other people’s homes it helps them to deal with food there and to not seem like little brats if they don’t like something! Good read and I’ll have to try those peppers!

  41. Hi! I’m sure other commenters might have posted something similar, but our new food rule is called, “the no-thank-you bite.” they have to try one bite and if they don’t like it can then say, “no thank you!” to the next one. Mine are like yours though and generally eat what they try. I feel like the no thank you bite kills two birds w one stone… My kids try new things and are also polite about it. Especially as going to restaurants and other people’s homes it helps them to deal with food there and to not seem like little brats if they don’t like something! Good read and I’ll have to try those peppers!

  42. Hi! I’m sure other commenters might have posted something similar, but our new food rule is called, “the no-thank-you bite.” they have to try one bite and if they don’t like it can then say, “no thank you!” to the next one. Mine are like yours though and generally eat what they try. I feel like the no thank you bite kills two birds w one stone… My kids try new things and are also polite about it. Especially as going to restaurants and other people’s homes it helps them to deal with food there and to not seem like little brats if they don’t like something! Good read and I’ll have to try those peppers!

  43. Hi! I’m sure other commenters might have posted something similar, but our new food rule is called, “the no-thank-you bite.” they have to try one bite and if they don’t like it can then say, “no thank you!” to the next one. Mine are like yours though and generally eat what they try. I feel like the no thank you bite kills two birds w one stone… My kids try new things and are also polite about it. Especially as going to restaurants and other people’s homes it helps them to deal with food there and to not seem like little brats if they don’t like something! Good read and I’ll have to try those peppers!

  44. Lauren says:

    So excited about this recipe! I’ve got mint by the bucketful and am always looking for new ways to use it!

  45. HAS says:

    I loved reading this because it was so helpful to me for my kiddos. I love the idea of asking them to try it first, then offering/having a set of snacks to choose from (instead of caving when they don’t eat and giving them something I know that they love and will eat).
    I am soaking my beans tonight and will try this recipe tomorrow…so excited!
    I sooo wish I could meet you in Cali. I lived in the Bay Area up until December. :(

  46. Stephanie says:

    Three words about mint: tea, tabouli, and mojitos!

  47. Tony Guard says:

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    Tony@Jakarta Hotel

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  49. MeiziTang says:

    Day 10 and 5 lbs . less, good and keep going on )

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