I love to cook, and I am not picky at all about what is in my food. If it is well prepared it usually tastes good. Now, when I am taking care of kids, I generally won’t hide ingredients in their food. When I have kids of my own, I will do what my mother did with me, and tell them to eat it. There were nights of battling and stubbornness, especially from my sister, who was at the time a picky eater; however, my mom always got us to eat some of everything on our plates.
My sister grew out of her finickyness(yes, I made up a word :P) over food. I have not been picky over much in my life. I truly did not like bacon as a kid, and that is one my Mom did not force me to eat, thankfully. (I even despised the smell when it was cooking)
I do have some adult friends who don’t like certain vegetables. Some won’t eat a dish if they think it has any vegetables in it, and some don’t even eat fruit unless it is candied and in some sort of confectionery delight. How do you get around this? You can’t force an adult to eat your cooking, they have to want to. That is why it is the ultimate victory when someone likes something you have cooked, even though it has an ingredient they claim never to go near!
I have found that, with most people-other than the extreme cases- all that must be done is disguising the food so the eater does not know about its presence.
For instance, olives are a food disliked by my father and my brother in law, so when my family cooks chili (which calls for olives if you use our recipe) we get minced olives. The recipe still tastes the same, but there are no perceivable chunks of olives. My Dad has been eating this chili for years, and we just recently revealed that the olives are present. He had NO IDEA.
Another food that is a little harder to sneak in to dishes is bell peppers. Some dislike the taste in the skin, so if you really want to disguise these, and don’t mind adding a little extra prep time, you may consider removing the skins by either slow roasting or fast roasting the peppers. The instructions are available in this easy to follow video. This is not my video but I have found it helpful for myself.
What kind of ingredients do you dislike in dishes? Have you come up with any tricks to disguise foods for your friends and family?
Disclaimer: of course, food allergies and intolerance are a different animal. Food should never be hidden that will actually cause medical issues. This article addresses simple taste preferences.