I personally have no memory of being a picky eater. In my mind, I've always had a gourmet palette that's appreciated everything from a wide variety of fresh summer produce to exciting new international delicacies. However, my mom tells a different version of the story.
If her (admittedly far more accurate) account is to be believed, I went through an impressive childhood phase in which I protested any and all new foods. In fact, my approved list of dishes was apparently so short that my poor mom — who was already catering to my two older sibling's culinary antics — was forced to get creative when adding new dishes into the dinnertime rotation. Enter: My lifelong love of a good sauce. You name it, I've added sauce to it. Veggies dipped in dressing? A classic. Pasta swimming in marinara? My fave. Fish sticks with a heaping side of ketchup? Irresistible.
Though I like to think I'm the only person with an impeccably fine-tuned palette for sauces, I know this situation isn't unique to my own childhood. In fact, adding a side of sauce is a tried-and-true solution for moms who are looking to widen their child's culinary purview, which is why Romper has partnered with Simply HEINZ Ketchup — which is made with natural ingredients such as red ripe tomatoes and cane sugar — to find out the different healthy foods moms have gotten their kids to try by adding a enticing side of ketchup. As you'll see below, it's a beloved mealtime hack that is more versatile than you may have thought:
"My son will try anything new when I serve it to him with ketchup. My most recent success was frozen veggie tots made with broccoli. I served him a couple of pieces, he tried it and grimaced. Then I gave him a bit of ketchup to dip it in and he cleaned his plate. Win!" —Kathleen
"My kids aren’t big meat lovers, so I’m always trying to sneak in some extra protein when I can. They typically turned their noses up at scrambled eggs, until I started serving them up with drizzled ketchup on top. It upped the flavor (and their protein intake) and brought some color and excitement to the plate." —Kate
"My daughter isn't a picky eater in that she won't eat certain foods — she's a picky eater in that she wants all of her food to be 'fancy.' She uses ketchup on everything because she feels like it dresses up the look and the taste, and now her favorite dinner is chicken with a serious helping of ketchup on the side." —Erin
"My daughter dips her asparagus in ketchup! It was her own doing, so I can't take full credit for her creativity – but hey, whatever works." —Emily
"My 3-year-old son loves tomatoes, so we just call ketchup 'special tomato sauce.' That's all it takes, and he's more than happy to dip anything — from a piece of broccoli to some chicken to a pickle (I don't ask questions) — in his 'special tomato sauce.' Especially when it comes to giving him new foods, it works like a charm." —Danielle
This post is sponsored by Simply HEINZ Ketchup.