The hubby and I like to eat a variety of different types of foods and always considered ourselves pretty adventurous when it came to trying different restaurants and cuisines. We swore that wouldn’t change when we had kids; we’d tote the kid along with us and introduce him to all the flavors of the world early on so he wouldn’t grow up to be a picky eater.
It worked, for a time. Our son, Jack, loved vegetables, beans, meats – anything you’d put in front of him. He’d gladly chow down on chips and salsa or dig into a bowl of refried beans topped with pico de gallo, and loved when we’d get Chinese takeout – especially chicken lo mein.
Then, when our Jack was 2, we took him to McDonalds and bought him Chicken McNuggets and destroyed our culinary lives for the next seven years.
Yes, we occasionally forced our kiddo to eat elsewhere, but not without much misery for all involved; it was easiest to just head for the drive-thru of the Golden Arches. We knew it. The kid knew we knew it. I’d gaze longingly at other restaurants we’d pass by and the hubby would reach over, pat my knee and reassure me by saying, “One day he’ll want to branch out and try something different.”
Jack eventually branched out a bit, wanting to try different places for pizza, steak or chicken, but nothing terribly wild and crazy. And then one day last year he asked, “Can we try Chinese food today?”
You could have knocked me over with a feather. We went to a buffet so the kiddo could try a variety of foods, and he tasted everything we recommended. He didn’t like everything, but he tried it. And he came away with a renewed love of chicken lo mein, among other dishes.
Now he regularly requests Chinese food, both when we’re out and about and at home. This is a quick and easy take on lo mein, which I’d choose any day over Chicken McNuggets.
For the recipe, please subscribe to the Banner's online or print edition.