You know how parents are always talking about tricky ways to get their kids to eat the stuff that's good for them? We don't really have that problem in our house. Our rule is that if it's on the dining room table, you eat it. There are a few exceptions, but not many. We also tell them what they are eating.
This all goes out the window when it comes to cooking for my parents.
Growing up my Dad did most of the cooking. Mom has a lot of useful skills, but cooking isn't one of them. I always say that if she used salt and pepper it was a well-seasoned dish. On Christmas morning, my late Uncle Ron would say, "Sis is burning the bisquits. Breakfast must be about ready." You get the picture.
When Dad came home he was put on a low-salt diet. This meant the boxed dinners Mom usually made were out. Dad wasn't in any shape to cook. I took over since it's an easy way for me to help.
I knew I was in trouble when I brought cinnamon and sugar pita chips from Trader Joe's. The girls love these things. They are a little sweet, low salt, crunchy, just a great snack. I figured my parents would enjoy them too.
My Mom gave them back to me saying, "We don't eat stuff like pita chips." I tried to explain that pita chips were basically crackers, but she refused to try them. A few weeks later there was a lengthy discussion about whether or not she'd eat some pasta because it had pine nuts. Dad ate it for lunch, but didn't know there were pine nuts until he was done. He gave it his approval, but Mom wasn't sure.
You see what I'm up against.
Now when I cook I alter the ingredients to make them more acceptable. Swiss chard or kale become spinach. Quinao is some generic grain. Flax seed doesn't even go on the ingredient list.
I used to read all those parenting articles about how to get your kids to eat a well-rounded diet. I scoffed at the thought that I would need those techniques with our girls. Now I'm glad I read them so I can use the information to make sure my parents end up with a well-rounded diet.