Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sweet (Potato) Success !!!

I am very proud of my sons' tastebuds! They like most foods and will usually try anything!!
But sweet potatoes have been a challenge. And AM I stubborn! I will not give up! I serve it approximately once a week, and always put a small portion on their plate.
You see... I believe that if one never assumes that a child STILL does not like a food, and continues to present it to them, then...eventually they will try it again .....and like it!
Call me a 'spudfast' optimist' - but I really and truly believe this.

Here is a tip: NEVER, EVER,  say this out loud:
"______________ (your child's name) , does not like__________(the offensive food)."

nor this:

"____________(your child's name)won't eat_________________(the offensive food). "

Believe me, I have been observing this for years. When a child hears these types of statements; it just affirms the belief in their mind that, in fact , they don't like that particular food and never will.

It has been shown in research that a child may have to see a food up to ten times before they may like it. I believe it can be more than 100 times in some cases! There are many strategies to getting a child, (or adult!) to accept a food.
Here's one: try the food in different forms: mashed, baked, roasted, raw -( no i have never resorted to mini marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes!) I have had some success by mashing white and sweet potato together.

So when I saw this recipe in Lucy Waverman's book "Matter of Taste", I knew this was my next strategy...the Sweet Potato Pancake.
And by the way , I just called them potato pancakes to my sons.

Sweet Potato Pancakes (adapted from "Matter of Taste", by Lucy Waverman)

Grate enough peeled sweet potato to have 6 cups of grated potato. (This amount will make quite a few, but I toasted them the next day and they were great!)
Add 3 eggs, ~ 2 tbsp grated fresh gingerroot (optional), 3/4 cup flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, a little freshly ground salt and pepper. Mix it all up really well...

Heat a tsp of olive oil over medium high heat in a cast iron or non stick pan
Form the potato mixture into patties and pan fry until golden brown on both sides -
Add more olive oil as needed...

Now, listen closely because I am whispering and this is very important...when you serve them, don't get all nervous or excited...just casually put them in front of the child and act like everything is perfectly normal....I know this is difficult, but it is very important.

Serve the food with familiar, favourite foods, I served this with roasted pork and peas.

Remain calm,,,

So far, so good.....

There you have it folks!!! Sweet Potato Success!!

Gosh, even Bella is thrilled about it...or is it the smell of roasted pork?
I believe that we owe it to our children to offer them a wide variety - to broaden their taste buds and open up their minds and bodies to the healthy foods that the earth has to offer.

Good luck with your next food adventure and remember..... never, ever give up!!

1 comment:

  1. Cheryl Reid O'HaganApril 18, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    These sound like a delicious pancake and I think you're great for taking all that time to grate the sweet potatoes.Sweet potato pie is great too... with maple syrup... I know I know ... it's probably too sweet but it's the thin edge of the wedge for getting people to try things.
    xo Cheryl