your picky 15 year old niece that eating healthy is cool
Solution: honesty. I was worried when my niece visited over the weekend that she wouldn’t eat anything at my house because, well, I have weird health food. Want cereal? Sorry, all I have is toasted millet. Yogurt? I hope plain is okay! When it came time for dinner, I realized I may have made a grave mistake by only picking up tofu the day before. Instead of just making food and putting it on the table, or being overly apologetic about having weird food, I was very straight forward with her. I told her what we had and then I took her to the organic grocery store to let her pick out anything she would want (I thought this was a good compromise because I knew pretty much anything she would have chosen would be organic/healthy). To my absolute astonishment, she said she had been thinking about going vegetarian and would like to try the tofu. We ended up leaving the story only with strawberries and bananas. This majorly surprised me because I know she’s used to having fast food/frozen food most of the time. So, I felt like I had a huge challenge ahead of me to not mess up dinner. I ended up making her quinoa and barley with pickled tofu, cucumber, and a few other vegetables. I had a lot of fun teaching her about pickling and the different things ingredients, since she had never heard of most of them. She ended up loving it (or at least saying she did)- which I kind of believe because I haven’t gotten any messages from my sister yet asking why I made her daughter eat hippie food! I think with teenagers, the way you approach food is really important. If I had been apologetic, she probably would have naturally assumed my food was different or gross in some way. If I had forced it on her, she maybe would have rebelled. I was honest with her that tofu has a weird texture and plain yogurt tastes funky the first time you tried it. I think that made her way more willing to at least try it, which was awesome!