Our kids are pretty good little eaters. They eat their fair share of vegetables and fruits. They all have a very small list of foods they really dislike. Onions top the list for all of the kids. Because they have so few things that they dislike, we don’t really push it on the few things they avoid.
I didn’t like onions until I was an adult. Onions topped the list of all the foods my brother and I disliked as kids also. The problem was, my mom did all the cooking and she liked onions. So more evenings than I care to admit, my brother and I dry heaved our way through something my mom worked really hard on making for us. I vowed that when I was an adult, I would not cook things I knew my kids didn’t like. We reward our kids for trying new things, but I just avoid the whine fest by just not making onion filled foods. There are vitamins and fiber in other things they like. Pick your battles and all.
Occasionally we eat out and sometimes the things the kids order might have onions. While we don’t force them to eat the onions, we try to encourage them to take a couple bites. Our encouragements bring me back to another thing my mom used to do. “Onions fight cancer.” was my mom’s biggest selling point for onions. This meant literally nothing to me. I didn’t have cancer so why did I need to eat it’s foe? As a joke that amuses nobody but me I will say “Onions fight cancer.” every time there are onions on their plate. and a kid will respond “I don’t have cancer.” and I am all “Fair rebuttal, you may pick them out.”
The other day my husband did something straight up genius. Deceitful as all get out, but genius and I am thinking it is worth passing along. So we are all at Daphne’s one evening enjoying “Kids Eat Free” dinner. Our kids all ordered a side salad and I was bursting with pride. As he always does, right after saying Grace my son starts to scoop the red onions off his salad and plop them on top of mine. “Thanks Bud.” I say as if it is a favor he is doing for me. “Welcome Mom.” he says, because he doesn’t understand Mom’s subtle sarcasm yet.
As he is still scooping my husband goes “You know, onions have a special vitamin in them that helps improve your Minecraft game.” mic drop.
Bubba stops what he is doing. He pauses and smiles “No way, that’s a joke.”
Dead serious husband who will one day reap what he is sowing in the lying department goes “It’s on the internet.”
Husband “I mean, you don’t have to eat them, but they have a specific kind of vitamin that really helps grow the area of your brain that you use for Minecraft. The guys that play it professionally eat tons of onions, but you don’t have to.”
Son *totally buying it*
“You read it for real? Are there other foods that have that vitamin.” Son
“Yeah, there are other foods that have it but onions are super high it in.” Husband
Son *gets suspicious for a second* “Well what is the name of the vitamin?”
Husband bluffs too good for his own good “I don’t remember the name. I like onions and I don’t care about Minecraft so I wasn’t really paying attention. You don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to, but it helps. We can look it up when we get home if you want.”
Son “Can I have those back?” re : the onions he gave me. He repossessed his onions you guys.
All this time big sister was in the restroom. She comes back to what she assumes is bizarro world because her brother is happily crunching a giant red onion slice. “J look, I am eating onions.” and she is all “What? Did they pay you?” (side note, we don’t pay our kids to eat stuff but they always ask us to…. who is telling kids this is an option in life?!). “Nope, but I am going to get super good at Minecraft, this helps my brain get super strong in the Minecraft spot.”
While she was not nearly as easy a sell as her brother, J eventually bought it too and both kids ate every onion on their salad.
In an effort of full disclosure, I suppose I should mention it didn’t last long. Both kids happily ate onions that were in their dinner the following night. After that they called baloney and started discarding their onions again. It was nice while it lasted.
Anyway, Daddy read it “On the internet somewhere” that onions will improve your Minecraft game and that was all it took to turn their hearts towards onions. Even if it was short lived I consider that a win.
….. and now you have read it on the internet.