Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do you dumb your food down?

There has been a discussion on one of the parenting boards I frequent about food and kids. It's really interesting to me because food has been one area we really haven't had any issues...until we had the kid that broke that mold.

For the most part, my kids have always loved to help in the kitchen. I've found that the more you involve kids in the cooking process (from meal planning to meal preparation), the more they are willing to try new foods. My kids have enjoyed a wide range of foods from takoyaki to raw veggies.

The foods they don't like border on abnormal. For instance, Leelee hates sloppy joes. Sloppy joes is one of those foods that most kids will eat. But with our food rules, she's also been willing to try each new incarnation of sloppy joes I've tried. Last night's was a slam dunk, imo; she tasted it and still didn't like it. She made herself a sandwich instead.

Lizzy, who broke my good eater mold, will only eat certain veggies. She will not eat green leafy veggies! Everyone else loves salad. She won't touch it. I put it on her plate anyway, night after night hoping that eventually she'll change her mind. She sees everyone else eating it and each night, she takes a bite then spits it back out. Sunday night, she tried dipping her steamed spinach in ranch...she liked the ranch.

The moral I take from this is, you need to put the food on their plates even if they don't like it. They may eventually change their opinions.

Don't be a short order cook. Everyone eats the same thing. I don't even make special things for my babies. Once they are on solid foods, they eat mashed up whatever we are eating. I don't change the spices, either. This is probably why Lizzy will eat gobs of salsa, heavy on the cilantro.

Don't dumb food down for kids!

Another great tip...get a membership to a warehouse club that has lots of samples. The kids love trying them and have found many foods that they do like by just trying one bite. This is how we found that Lizzy loves french onion soup. They also love various stinky cheeses, falafel, and whatever else they can get for free.

1 comment:

  1. Heck no! My kids NEVER ate 'toddler fodder' so to speak.
    Here is our rule: they need to taste what I make. If they really don't like it, they can spit it out but they MUST try it again within the next few months. Both are good eaters and neither like fast food joints which is such a blessing. The hardest person to teach this rule was my hubby b/c he wanted to force them to sit there until they ate it. HA! Our kids are now 11 and 12 and eat just about everything we eat....and if I make something they don't care for, I always have leftovers or salad in the frig which makes them happy :-)

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Thanks and have a great day!