When it comes to my 4 and 6 year old grandsons’ food preferences and their palates, I sometimes suspect they are from another planet. I’m kidding of course, but would most kids like and eat a dinner comprised of fish sauteed with capers and garlic, wilted spinach and couscous?
When I made this, 6 year old Jun took a bite, closed his eyes and stated, THIS IS SOOOOO GOOD, Lola! Ummmmm, ummmmm! Well, as you can imagine, hearing this and seeing the expression on his face —- makes any cook, especially this Lola, so HAPPY. It was as if the taste was so terrific that he had to close his eyes to take it all in.
Mind you, Jun is not the expressive type (not yet anyway), so for him to have this reaction was great. Gabriel followed suit with thumbs up, and Lola was a happy cook.
And the funny thing is that this is one of the easiest meals I make, uses only two pans –and the last thing you would think a 4 and 6 year old would love. Come on, what is easier than making couscous—5 minutes and surprisingly high in fiber by the way— and quicker than cooking fish and spinach (I use the same pan to cook the fish and wilt the spinach).
Prior to Jun and Gabriel visiting my sister over the Christmas holidays, she called to ask if there are any special foods she should get for them. I asked their Grandpa (whom they call Opa)—and he said, “not that I can think of, and oh tell her, whatever you think kids would NOT like, they like”. This is true!
Often, kids hate vegetables — they don’t.
Months ago my neighbor gave me a big bag of broccoli — oh no I thought, how am I ever going to cook all this? Well, Jun and Gabriel practically fought over the broccoli. When we make asparagus — it is more! more!
And another odd one, Bok Choy…they just LOVE this vegetable, especially in the pot sticker soup we make, or when in the Filipino sour soup dish called sinigang.
When Gabriel is in a salad mood, be ready to refill his plate and expect him to say “more salad please Lola!” The other night Gabriel proclaimed – “more veggies please Opa!” (it was a leftover saute of cabbage, green beans and carrots).
These guys love eating fruits. Bananas, kiwis, clementines, melons, and especially mangoes and pineapples…to the point that the fruit acids have made their mouth red and itchy (especially with eating too much fresh pineapple!).
Here are Lola’s shopping bags after coming back from the store with not one but TWO pineapples.
Of course they love their candy, ice cream, cookies and all the other goodies we all like, but in general, they are not fussy eaters at all.
Maybe it is a phase (a long phase) and the next time I make this fish dish or offer up a plate of asparagus they turn their heads and exclaim BLLCCCCHHH! Well, at least then I will know for certain they are children from THIS home planet of ours after all…
But for now, Lola is quite happy to cook and shop for veggies and fruits for these good little eaters.