Mom of Picky Eater

Re-naming foods…an innocent bit of trickery

Who ever said there was anything wrong with giving foods a different name to make them sound more fun and appealing?  Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, as long as you really aren’t taking the other person for a ride.

So my husband knows my kids do enjoy breaded chicken cutlets.  He wanted them to try to eat more fish, so he took a thin white fish, like tilapia, and he followed the same breading method and then baked them to make them extra crispy but not greasy.  He served them to my kids in sliced pieces and told them they were “fish fries.”  I can’t believe they bought it, but they did, and they loved them.  My daughter, of course, used about a half cup of ketchup on hers, but I have no problem with that condiment.  My son, the really picky guy, ate the “fries” with enjoyment, which is shoking to me.

The next night, my husband thought he’d try his luck again.  This time he took a thinly sliced pork cutlet and did the same thing.  Dipped in beaten egg wash and then in the bread crumbs and this time pan fried.  This dish was called “pork fries,” because they were again sliced to look like fries.

My kids are not dumb, so I know they didn’t really buy his story, but it somehow worked.  Maybe because they appreciated that he went to the trouble to make it fun for them.  Maybe because they weren’t bribed or forced to eat any of it.  Maybe because it actually tasted good and looked familiar enough to them that they were not afraid to give it a try.  I don’t know the real reason but they gladly cleaned their plates both nights.

For us, this was a food breakthrough, the likes of which I have not seen more than once or twice in our kitchen.  I have to hand it to my husband, he tried something and it worked!

Here are some recipes along the breaded cutlet line that I thought you might want to try with your picky eaters:

Grilled Fish Sammies with Garlic Tartar Sauce and Baked Waffle Fries (another hit in my house)

Go Greek Fried Fish

Turkey Cutlets Milanese-Style

Crispy Parmigiano-Crusted Chicken on Summer Lemon Pasta

Turkey Saltimbocca (pictured below)

Turkey Cutlets with Fried Ravioli

Always use EVOO and not butter to keep it on the healthy side.  Okay you can use a little butter!


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