Monday, July 13, 2009

"kid-friendly" food

This kind of picture makes me wary. One cherry for the nose, a single grape cut in half for eyes. A truly picky eater would not be tricked into eating healthy by a smiley face, and a child is not learning to grow up and eat the foods you eat if you're running around making clown faces or ants on a log. Don't get me wrong, its OK to have fun with food. Decorate birthday cupcakes like lady-bugs, see who can crunch the loudest, have the pinkest tongue from your beet salad...
Making food entertaining to get a kid to eat one grape is not the way to instill a true love of variety. And you're working too hard if you have to make every meal into a piece of art to "get a piece of fruit" into your kid. Its pressure, and it slows down the process of learning to love new foods.How about a big bowl of grapes out of the fridge, or cherries in season (watch pits for younger kids...) 
What happened at our house this weekend.
Recently M had some rice-krispie from a restaurant lunch she had saved for snack. She was pestering me before snack. "I can eat it all, right Mom?" I replied "we'll see, we have lots of great stuff." No fight (remember, don't get sucked-in!) As we sat down to luscious red watermelon with its gorgeous green rind, she got to choose slices instead of chunks and barely touched her rice-krispie treat. It was a pleasant snack. Several points: demistify dessert, honor whole foods and variety, enjoy the amazing variety of fruits and vegetables, have fruits and vegetables on hand and offer them often, don't fight or negotiate of bargain. Do it again and again.

Remark about how beautiful and red cherries are on their own, dip them in yogurt, or make a sauce to top ice-cream for dessert. Good food is brilliant and amazing on its own. 

1 comment:

  1. Many children tend to eat frequently through the day as their bodies require. One should not force children to eat more and more like adults do. A child under the age of four or five might eat six to seven times a day. One can give fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain crackers, cheese cubes, peanut butter-cheese sandwiches into daily snacks. Try to avoid pre-packaged snacks because its unhealthy. One can go for milk-based drinks because it rich in proteins, calcium, iron, also fruit juice will be good. To know more on tactics on healthy snacks for kids, refer Fun snacks for kids