The mango salsa pictured above looks delicious and unassuming, right? Then why did my six year old ask "what's that gross stuff on my dish" last night? Dinner was simply pan-seared salmon with said salsa, steamed asparagus, carrots and rice. Honestly, I thought the salmon would be the fight—as usual. Being the fickle creatures they're programmed to be, it was the refreshing, zingy mango salsa that she judged with just one look.
I knew full-well that my protein choice might be met with a frown but decided as long as I paired it with a starch and veggie she liked, at least her tummy would be full for bedtime. To my surprise, the salmon went over well, and she wolfed down the rice and carrots. I'll give her a pass on the asparagus—even though this is the season to eat it in NYC.
And therein lies the trick to shedding your short order chef's whites. Don't expect kids to love everything you make, but do make sure there's at least a few things on the menu they will. Studies show that it can take upwards of a dozen introductions before children take to a new food. And if they don't even after all those attempts? Respect their opinion but don't scratch it off your shopping list. You won't like all their friends as they grow, so it's just practice for tolerance on both your parts.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Prep this salsa first so the flavors have time to marinate while you finish cooking the rest of the meal.
1 whole mango, diced fine
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
fresh squeezed juice of one lime
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno, optional
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; mix well using a spoon or rubber spatula. Let "marinate" on countertop for 30 minutes. May also be made one day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.