Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the snow pea ruse*

*a trick, stratagem, or artifice.

so today
. . . i bamboozled my students into eating peas.

i am constantly amazed by what my little darlings will eat. they will eat broccoli, cucumbers, cooked tomatoes, and even spinach. they will eat cold corn. but they won't eat baby carrots unless they can smother them in ranch dressing. they will eat plain rice, fried noodles and any kind of pasta, but they don't like sandwiches.

or peas.

i gave up long ago on fighting food wars. if a child really, really doesn't want to eat something, there is nothing i can do to force them to eat it. and being something of a picky eater myself, i admit that i feel their pain. i have had a few close calls with international cuisine in the last few years that gives me empathy when a child says, "but i don't like that."

however, for some reason, today i decided that they were going to at least try some peas. i have had good results in the past with the "snow pea ruse."

we were having macaroni and cheese--a food that everyone likes. usually we get broccoli with it, or sometimes green beans (which i NEVER make them eat, because i don't like them either--at least not the way they "cook" them at school.) but today it was peas. as soon as i saw it, i activated the snow pea ruse.

"oooo, look!" i exclaimed. "snow peas."

"i don't like peas!" this was said by about half of my small class.

"oh, but these aren't regular ordinary peas. these are snow peas. we are sooo lucky!"

"but i don't like peas."

"you will like these. they are sweet, like sweet corn. remember when we had sweet corn last week? you guys liked that. snow peas are kind of the same--really sweet."

the pea haters were still looking skeptically at me, but i am the teacher--would i lie? ;)

as i started dishing up the mac & cheese and "snow peas," the kids who liked peas were saying, "yeah! give me lots and lots of peas!!" the pea haters were still saying no. so i just announced that today we were all going to try the very special snow peas, because they were so sweet that i just knew that everyone would love them. i encouraged them to mix the peas in with the mac & cheese because, i said, they were especially delicious with cheese sauce on them.

the pea haters were not thrilled. i just gave them a few peas, and continued to talk about how delicious they were. then i asked the pea lovers, "aren't they good?" and they all said, "yeah!!" of course, they like peas, snow or not.

(every time i put this operation into effect, i am surprised that no one asks me why they are called "snow peas." of course, kids here are somewhat unfamiliar with the cold, wet, white, fluffy stuff.)

now the pea haters were a little bit curious. the teacher said the special snow peas were good. some of their friends seemed to really like them. maybe they wouldn't be so bad. i could see the little wheels turning in their tiny heads. so i pushed my advantage. i found one pea hater who was mixing her peas around in the mac & cheese. "so," i said, "did you eat some snow peas? weren't they delicious??" she just looked at me and said, "uh huh." i moved on to the most notorious pea hater. "oh, you haven't tried yours yet. you'd better hurry or there might not be any left for seconds." he immediately loaded up his spoon and popped them into his mouth. "aren't those yummy?" i said, and he nodded, mouth full of "snow peas."

and then it was time for me to leave for my lunch hour. i don't know what happened after i left, but while i was there, every child was eating "snow peas." and at least pretending to like them.

some days, i rock!!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Reminds me of someone who wouldn't eat beans no matter how they were hidden in other food. Eventually she learned to eat them in the school hot lunch program......