Firstborn, who will turn eleven years old in June and is currently nearing the end of Fifth Grade, came to us a few weeks back and suggested that we needed to be eating healthier food, and that we should maybe join one of those Send-You-A-Meal programs.
This turns out to have been possibly the most brilliant suggestion that anyone in our household -- and I'm including both the Beautiful Wife and Myself, here -- has come up with in the last five years.
We get three meals a week. Firstborn cooks them, under adult supervision. He has learned to prepare meat and roast vegetables; he has learned to chop, slice, and peel things. He has read and followed directions, but he's actually been surprisingly good at that since he first learned to read. And so far, we've only had two injuries: he's sliced his own finger once, and his mother's finger once. Neither had required more than some Neosporin and a bandaid to fix.
We're now entering our third week of this, and so far the meals have been consistently Very Good, and in several cases Excellent. This, after being prepared by a ten-year-old.
Even more amazing: it's gotten Firstborn, and to a lesser extent his brother, to try some things that they simply wouldn't have touched under any normal circumstance. Cauliflower. Brussel Sprouts. Heck, it's gotten me eating pork in non-bacon forms and actually liking it.
But possibly the biggest revelation to come out of this whole thing (at least for me) is the discovery that it's not that I don't like vegetables. It's that for my entire life, most of the vegetables I've been served have just been badly prepared. Cook them right, pair them with a proper bit of protein, and they're scrummy.
I never would have guessed.