To introduce my kids to new types of food, I use a type of stair-step approach that makes it less fearful or intimidating and more appealing. For example, my daughter Mimi didn’t like to eat salads until one day I made her one using strawberries.
I won her over to eating other types of salads only because she was able to overcome her mental discrimination against eating any type of salad. When incorporating an ingredient I know my kids love into a new dish, I increase my probability that they will not only try it but they may even love it. This is the case with today’s recipe for a simple but flavorful Mango Salsa.
Ripe mangoes are the perfect fruit for this sweet and savory condiment. Whether you serve it with tortilla chips or as a relish over grilled meats, this salsa a great way to stair-step a picky eater’s palate. First, I will offer a plain piece of mango to my children while making this salsa. It’s like bait to a fish. The flavor of ripe mangoes are irresistible to them. Then, when I serve the salsa with chips, they are more open to eating it because they can visually see the salsa is primarily made of mangoes, and we’ve already established how sweet and delicious they are. If they appear to be hesitant in trying it, I encourage them to try “just one bite”- a common rule we have in our home. So far Mimi loves it, and Abbi will eat it if I let her pick out the onions.
This is also one of my favorite ways to dress up fish and poultry during the summer. It’s so quick and easy that the kids can help mix all the ingredients together. If they help to prepare it, they are more likely to take pride in it and have some. Enjoy!
Recipe: Mango Salsa
An Easy Sweet and Savory Salsa.
- 1 firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- Freshly grated lime zest from one lime
- Fresh lime juice from one lime
- In a medium bowl, gently stir together all the ingredients. Serve immediately or prepare this salsa in advance by covering the bowl and keeping it refrigerated up to 2 hours ahead of time.