Most of us were sitting at the dinner table but we had a bigger crowd than usual, my sister and her two children, as well as my mother were there, visiting from Florida. Joel was standing up (not unusual--he usually eats that way) and we were all eating except Hailey, my four-year-old niece and she was complaining that she was hungry. Haily doesn't eat too many real foods. When offered, it is always, (without even tasting it) "I don't like that". Lots of talk was going on so I really didn't think Joel heard her, but he did. He took out a bag of blanched almonds and told Hailey she couldn't have any because he needed them all for his strength and to be smart. He just was going on and on about if she ate them, there would not be enough for him to be so strong and he needs them for his work. .
He started to go into a very dramatic routine about how our son, Sean (eight-years-old and Hailey's idol) loved slivered almonds (something Sean and I didn't know) and that Sean was going to get very strong from eating them, but that she couldn't have any because both him and Sean must have enough. Well Joel was really playing it up for a good 5 minutes and we were all getting a kick from it except Hailey. She didn't budge in saying she was hungry or showing any interest in the almonds. Sean however was very affected by his daddy's words about getting strong and he started eating the slivered almonds like never before. So, we all had a good laugh about Sean and kept eating. Hailey was given something else to eat.
What makes this story remarkable is that a full 10 minutes after Joel's performance ended, Hailey started eating the slivered almonds like nobody's business. We adults had gone on, continued our conversations and forgot about the recent attempt Joel made to get Hailey to try a new healthy food. We were completely amazed that Joel's antic worked. Hailey couldn't put enough almonds into her mouth and thoroughly enjoyed them. We all stopped, looked and were astounded. We thought there was no way he could get this picky eater to eat something new.
I'm not saying that a parent has to always outwit the child to get them to try something new, but in this case, and in our experience with our four children it certainly works. No arguments occur and we get our way (how often does that happen?)