My son tried Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki for the first time! What is the secret to overcoming likes and dislikes?

I would like to write about the first Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki restaurant I took my son Takeh to.

First of all, okonomiyaki restaurants are dangerous for families with small children. If a child accidentally puts his or her hand on the griddle in front of you, you could be in big trouble. For this reason, I think it is too early to go to an okonomiyaki restaurant that offers a “sit at your table and cook yourself” style of okonomiyaki.

However, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is not cooked by customers, but by waiters. Children are safer if they sit at a table or in a tatami room rather than at the counter around the griddle where the waiter grills; even a one-year-old seems to be in less danger.

As a parent, I was very impressed when my son started to wean himself off food, because he ate everything without likes or dislikes. I thought this would not be a problem for parents as far as food is concerned.

However, parenting is not that easy, and as he began to understand more and more, his likes and dislikes about food gradually emerged. For example, he doesn’t like green peppers, and he doesn’t like fibrous vegetables that take a lot of time and effort to chew.

Hiroshima okonomiyaki uses a lot of cabbage and bean sprouts. Will my son really eat all that cabbage? We watched with bated breath. Cabbage is an ingredient that teeters on the edge of OK and NG for him.

For example, if cabbage is cooked to a pulp in a pot-au-feu, he will eat it. On the other hand, he will not eat cabbage in a stir-fry because of its crunchy texture.

What about the Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki? Probably because he liked the taste of the Otafuku-sauce.

It was a very pleasant sight to see him enjoying Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, even though his food likes and dislikes are becoming more and more varied.

Having raised my own children, I am very aware of the fact that children have likes and dislikes and parents’ feelings toward them. However, I believe that it is important for parents and children to try new ingredients and dishes together to create an enjoyable dining experience.

I hope you will continue to work with him and enjoy the wide world of food beyond likes and dislikes as he is exposed to a variety of ingredients and cuisines.



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