How to convince a child to try Brussels sprouts

Sometimes you cook Brussels sprouts for dinner.
You know no one else will eat them because…well…you don’t quite know why. Why don’t people like Brussels sprouts?
Anyway, you drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper on them, and roast them.
As they cook, they smell irresistible.
You think so, anyway.
You put them in a lovely bowl right near your plate and serve yourself a heaping portion.
“These Brussels sprouts are delicious!” you say. “Who wants some?”

No one does.
You eat a few more.
“They are just sooooo good,” you say. “Are you sure you don’t want any?”
No one does.
But you just know that if someone else tried a Brussels sprout, he would fall in love with this marvelous vegetable—or at least admit it had merit.
So you turn to your 7-year-old. He eats other vegetables with enthusiasm. He’s your best shot at a Brussels sprout fan, and you know it.
“Just try one,” you say.
He shakes his head.
“One little leaf?” you say.
“Let me smell it,” he says.
“Yuck!” he says. “It smells like raw rice!”
“But it tastes so good! Try just a little bite.”
He smells it again and shakes his head.
“I’ll give you a quarter to try it,” you say, picturing your Mother of the Year trophy vanishing even as you speak.
Now he’s interested. “Two dollars,” he says.
“One dollar,” you say.
“One dollar and 100 cents,” he says. Someone has been paying attention in math class.
“One dollar—and that’s my last offer,” you say.
“One dollar,” he says.
He takes a tiny bite, grimaces as he nibbles. Then he opens his mouth wide and throws the whole rest of the sprout in.
“It tastes terrible,” he says smacking his lips.
Now you’re out a dollar, a Brussels sprout, and a Mother of the Year trophy.
But at least you enjoyed some delicious Brussels sprouts for dinner.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.