Man Food: Teaching Boys to Like Veggies
Posted by Melanie in Family Life, Man Food

When we were growing up, my brother (love you, hon!) was the pickiest eater ever. He didn’t like cheese. He didn’t like eggs. He didn’t like most vegetables, just green beans, English peas and corn. .”
Poor mom was run ragged fixing him something he would eat separate from the rest of the family. When he got old enough for it to cost him something socially, though, a lot of those food aversions went to the wayside and when he got old enough for it to cost him business-wise as an American businessman in Japan, they were chucked entirely. This really made me think. Is there a way we could avoid the whole picky eater thing?

What if the Lord called one of ours to be a missionary in some far away place? I remember one telling us about finally being invited into a local’s home and being served grubs and bitter yams (tastes like aspirin)! Was there some way to avoid being picky?

One thing we discovered was the power of appetizers, or hor d’oeuvres. Get a boy hungry enough and he’ll eat nearly anything! Here’s what you do:

Pick a time when  the guys have come in hungry after playing hard. Start cooking something that smells good, but takes a long time. When they’ve been whining for a while, “Whhhhennnn’s supper?” Then say, “Well, it’s going to be quite a while, but we do have these yummy hor d’oeuvres.” Set down a pretty plate — and turn around and ignore them.

A week or two ago I put some fried okra on our toddler’s plate at supper and she refused to even try it. Tonight, I made sure the okra started getting ready long before the rest of the meal. After she’d begged for something to eat, I put a couple of okra on the plate in front of her. Within a few minutes, she was hollering, “More! More!” By the time dinner was served, she was a confirmed okravore!

You can do this with anything you are wanting your guys to try. Here are some tips for making it most successful:

Never complain about food or say something is yucky. Your children only know what’s supposed to be good or bad from what they hear. If you don’t like something, just push it around the plate and keep your mouth shut.

Make your appetizer plate attractive – use a pretty plate and arrange the food nicely, yes, even if you plan to eat on paper plates for supper.

Put out new food when they are starving. Remember, hunger is the best sauce.

Here’s how to make our fried okra. Have you ever had it? It’s the best!

Choose small and flexible pods. If you have to saw at it to slice it or if it feels “woody” chuck in the trash, it’s not fit to eat. Wash and slice in half inch slices.


Then dribble some buttermilk in and stir until it’s coated. The okra should be thoroughly coated, but no buttermilk left in the bottom. Ignore the sliminess that appears here, it will completely disappear in the frying! Meanwhile heat about a half inch of oil in a skillet to medium to medium high.

Next pour some cornmeal in a ziploc bag or a bag of any kind that won’t leak. Use way more cornmeal than you really need for it to coat nicely and stay separate.

It’ll look like this when it’s coated. Use a slotted spoon to lift it out of the cornmeal without putting extra cornmeal in the grease, which will make it gross fast! Drop a piece in the oil. When it starts frying briskly, drop a single layer of okra in the skillet, then leave it alone! Do not stir it around! No!

Leave it alone until the bottoms turn golden brown, then flip it over with your spatula or slotted spoon. When the other sides are golden brown, use a slotted spoon to lift them onto a paper plate or plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle a little salt over  it, then just try to keep people out of it!

This is seriously one of the most totally yummy ways to cook a vegetable ever. Yum! Hot, crisp on the outside, soft and delicious middle – just irresistible!

This is the tiny bit that was left  by the time I realized I needed a picture:

Follow these directions and you might end up with a brand new okravore, too!