Did the Baked Ziti Bomb or Was It a Success?

When I was a child, one of my favorite foods was pasta. For almost two years straight, I ate pasta with butter and/or mac-and-cheese for two…and sometimes even three meals a day! My mother was so fearful about my rejection of all other foods that she took me to the doctor who told her that I was just going through a phase. Well, he was certainly right…because now I eat all foods. It only took me about 22 years to get to this place!
Well, I guess my little apples didn’t fall far from the tree. My boys are just as picky as I was; however, they prefer different foods than I did. So thinking I would be creative and perhaps just a wee bit reminiscent, I thought why not make baked ziti for my boys! After all, it was one of my childhood favorites. I even bought white pasta rather than whole wheat hoping they would really like this dish. Although this is not a particularly healthy meal (though not unhealthy either), I chose to make it in my continuing quest to get them to eat a greater variety of foods. So last Monday while the boys were at school, I made the baked ziti with part skim ricotta, semolina ziti, and Monte Bene sauce. I wanted it ready when they got home from their after-school activities; they would be hungry and thus hopefully more willing to try the dish.
Well, it almost failed…particularly if you consider eating baked ziti for dinner to be the goal! Though I would love that to be the goal, I know it is not realistic. Rather it is simply food exposure 101. The baked ziti tasted delicious. My husband and I ate it. Bobby took one bite and refused more while Billy literally ran to a different room and never even tasted it. Did it almost fail on all levels? No. The boys were exposed to another new food, texture and taste. Billy returned to the dinner table saying he would try a different food but not the ziti. He did willingly try dried pineapple and decided he liked it. He had tried it previously and not liked it, so this was a step forward in our food journey. My conclusion: although we all ate separate dinners once again, we made some progress trying new foods on the baked ziti night. Stay tuned for my next food exposure adventure!
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