Our kids learned at a very young age, that I expected them to at least try foods before turning their noses up to it. If you said, "I don't like it!" you had better at least have tasted it. All in all, it has worked pretty well. I respected their food choices and they tried everything at least once. That is, unless it was something like liver, that I hated. I would not even cook that, so they were safe.
"Doc" managed to blow my rules out of the water. (Now there is a surprise for any who of you who know him, right?!) We headed to his mother's one evening for dinner. Before we even walked in, I knew what was coming because he had informed me of his phobia early in our marriage when I had fixed something for dinner and he would not eat a bite! He looked at all the kids, and told them not to eat the broccoli casserole no matter what.
There are multiple reasons for this. My mother in law could be a very good cook, so don't get me wrong. She had her own garden, filled with fresh vegetables that looked delicious. However, over the years we had discovered that she stored and continued to use insecticides and weed killers in her garden that I am sure she concocted or had already been banned by the EPA. How would we explain to people that our kids could glow in the dark, because of grammy's dinner?
"Doc's" phobia started even earlier than that. When he was just a little guy, his mother who was VERY frugal about some things, refused to throw food away. Periodically for dinner, she would take all of the food in the refrigerator that she could combine and make up a casserole. Now, keep in mind that it did not matter what condition the food was in. A little mold never hurt anyone! That's what they make penicillin out of! According to "Doc" it did no good to argue about the taste, you were not going to win.
Like I said, I learned early in our marriage never to serve a casserole unless I prepared it in front of him and he knew the condition of all the ingredients. The kids learned never to eat certain things at Grammy's and they learned that it was one of the few times that we would get them fast food on the way home to prevent starvation! I wonder what my Grandchildren will say about me some day?!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!