PORTLAND -- Getting your kids to try new foods, especially vegetables, can be a challenge. Things like Brussels sprouts and green beans aren't always on their list of favorite foods.
That's why people often wonder how David Autrey and Amy Wessleman got their 10-year-old twins to not only to eat a variety of veggies, but to cook them, too.
"I am pretty proud of my boys, I'm not going to lie," said Wessleman of her sons, Leo and Soren Westrey. She says they offered the boys every kind of food they could imagine at a very young age, and the boys just latched on to good foods from the start.
"There's not a lot of no in this household, there's a lot of yes to food in this househould," she said.
Autrey said one of the family's favorite activities is going to the various Portland Farmers Markets. KGW tagged along to find out how Leo and Soren spend their time and money at the market. They were each given $10 to spend. But these twins like working as a team, so they combined their resources and shopped together.
They bought sweet spring onions, baby carrots, fresh mint, french garlic, garlic spears, leeks, mini-artichokes and a couple of macaroons to eat on the spot. After all, it's hard for their parents to say no to a couple of cookies when the majority of the time they're choosing very healthy foods.
The rest of the food went back to their kitchen, where the boys rinsed, sliced and diced the veggies by themselves. They even boiled water, turned on the oven and sauteed the veggies by themselves. The thought of 10-year-olds performing those duties in the kitchen might make a lot of parents cringe.
"I remind them: This is a knife, this is dangerous," said Autrey. Wessleman said it's important to give them control in the kitchen because it gives them a better understanding and appreciation for what they are eating.
"Sometimes you have to swallow hard and say, 'Alright, my 10-year-old is lifting a pan of boiling water and pouring it into the sink,'" she said. But the method seems to work.
The boys pick healthy foods they love and they enjoy their time in the kitchen. Leo and Soren share their food adventures on their blog, The Food Kids Really Want.
They hope other kids will read it and be inspired to try new flavors, especially new vegetables.
"How will you know if you like or don't like something, unless you've tried it?" Leo and Soren asked. It's a good lesson, not only for their peers, but for all people afraid to test their palettes. www.kidchowpdx.com