I'm so very thankful that our children aren't picky. There's very little that they express a dislike for, and we eat a significant variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains. I've often been asked what I did to make my children be such good eaters, but very few people like my answer. For starters, when beginning my children on solid foods, I offered them vegetables instead of fruits. Everyone likes sweet things, but vegetables are an acquired taste. It was several months before they ever tasted anything sweet. When they were given juices as toddlers, they were diluted with more than 50% water. Juice is full of sugar and calories. And finally, they had to eat what I prepared. One spoonful of a vegetable never killed anyone. Because we eat such a wide variety of things, my children got used to all sorts of different textures and flavors. That's it! I'm happy to report that most days, my children are deliberating over who gets to finish the vegetables at dinner. My children are allowed to snack whenever they please, but it's always fresh fruits, carrots, peanut butter on a banana, or cheeses and nuts. I don't feel guilty about serving desserts because I know they have had plenty of "good for you" foods throughout the day.
To be sure, my children are normal and each have quirks of their own. Mac doesn't love baked potatoes or green beans. But he eats them. Autumn doesn't like ham or turkey, but she not only ate it at home, she continues to cook it now that she's married. Collin doesn't like dressings or dips of any kind. Guess what? He's the lucky one, because I always figured things were healthier without them so I actually let him skip! Abigail doesn't like mushrooms, but has learned not to complain about them. You know, for years I didn't like them either, but because I love my husband and he loves mushrooms, I would prepare a select few dishes with them every so often. I don't mind them at all now! Taste buds change, and I believe that if we try things often enough, we will acquire a taste for them.
In our family, we eat seasonally. Lighter, easily made meals in the summer, full of fresh produce and grilled meats. We eat loads of salads that are cool and refreshing, and an abundance of grapes, melons and berries.
In the fall, we still eat as many fresh vegetables as we can as evidenced by the above picture. I start supplementing some frozen and canned vegetables as well. I make stews and soups and our fruit choices turn to bananas, apples, and pears. I bake a little more than I do in the summer, and even make homemade puddings.
The winter brings less fresh vegetables, though I do still get what I can. Warm breakfasts of baked oatmeal prepared with frozen blueberries, and dinners of roasts, and gravies seem to hit the spot when it's cold outside. Baking in the oven or the crockpot helps the house feel warm and cozy. We tend to favor oranges, grapefruits, and pomegranates when the snow is flying.
So, I'm curious. Do you buy fresh, frozen, or canned? Do you cook the same year-round, or do your menus change?