All parents have some sort of food battle with kids. It’s just how these things work. If your kids are like mine, there will be some meals where your kids would have loved it… if you had only called it chicken.

Somehow chicken is the magic word for a lot of kids. I’ve learned that I can avoid a lot of dinnertime arguments if I agree with any child who calls a meat “chicken,” regardless of what it really is.

I’m thinking back to one night when I told my daughter we were having fish for dinner. This was when she was a little kid, and sometimes picky as little kids are, but this was far from the first time she had eaten fish for dinner. She had eaten it well in the past, so no worries, right?

Naturally, she decided she didn’t like fish. Before it was done cooking and even before she had seen it.

I really should have said ‘chicken’. Odds are good she would have eaten it then.

So I played around with her a little. I had a topping on the fish, and she readily admitted that she loved the topping. It was a mix of bread crumbs, chopped cashews, honey and mustard. Really wonderful, and she admitted that she loved the topping.

So I told her about the nuts. Hey, the main part of the dinner was spoiled anyhow.

Immediately she announced that well… there was something in there she didn’t like and that was the nuts.

Cashews are the only nuts she likes when she admits to liking nuts. I know she was trying to play with my mind as much as I did with her when I mentioned the nuts. Besides, she kept nibbling it, if a bit slower.

Feeding kids is a funny thing. A favorite food one day is loathed another. And somehow it seems like just about all of them will eat any meat labeled ‘chicken’.

No matter what it really is.