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Jun 24, 2011 09:12 AM

What's the best way to get my daughter eating spicy food?

She doesn't seem to like any spice in her food at all, and I love it! We often eat very different meals because I make something with a little fresh chilli in it, or that uses lots of spices, or is even just very peppery. I prefer to eat asian food because I find it a lot lighter and so those dishes are often cooked just before we eat too, whereas my daughter eats much earlier in the evening.

I'd love to get her eating chile con carne for a start, but she hates pulses too (another of my favourite foods).

Any good tips to start her off? She has had a mild thai curry at a friend's house, but I think that was using a jarred paste and I normally make my paste from scratch and it can be a bit hot.

I think we often get into a rut with kids food because you don't want to go to the trouble of making something new that they then reject out of hand...

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  1. Sweeten it up a little. Add a bit of agave or brown sugar to your chili etc.

    1. start with heavily spiced but not hot spicy food. jet her get used to complex flavor mixtures. then slowly add the heat

      1. How old is she? That might help us give better advice? I agree with the sweet/hot idea. Even McD's is advertising sweet chili sauce for nuggets. Something that she could dip into an interesting sauce might catch her interest.

        1. If she doesn't like spicy, and she eats earlier than you do, why not make her the same dish without the heat. I was a picky eater as a child and my mother would at least leave pieces of things large enough that I could take them out. I think it is unfair to give her dishes that have the unwanted ingredient permeating the dish. Just my HO.

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123

            As a child I too hated spicy foods. It was the only pickyness my parent's tolerated. My mom would pull some chili from the pot before she added the cayenne and save a few beans to throw in my bowl. I was eating the same food as everyone else, just without the spicyness. Oh, and I completely grew out of it and am a chili-head now.

            To a child (under 10), things taste much spicier than they do to an adult. If she eats well and healthy, give her a break on the heat index.

            Even in chile-prone cultures, they cool food down for kids with more rice, or yogurt or something.

          2. Try mixing yogurt with the spicy part or use it to dip. With Indian food, yogurt is always served. For kids, rice,yogurt and the spicy meat/curry or veg is mixed up. Never drink plain water to cool down spicy heat, it just makes it worse! Always, milk, buttermilk or yogurt. bread in a pinch