Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kids and Food

My younger son will be four on Monday! It is amazing to me that my "baby" is getting so big! He is still the suspicious toddler when it comes to meal time, for the most part. I mean, he will excitedly chow down on a dish of plain tofu, and he loves nutritional yeast on anything, but those have been common place since he was born. As far as trying something new, forget it. But he has been claiming for the last six months that this will all change when he's four.

About 2 months ago, he told me he'd like salad when he's four. We planted a box of mesclun mix and he's been caring for it since we planted it late April. The greens are growing beautifully and will be ready for his big day on Monday. He also states that the red leaves are the juiciest. Based on nothing. He even told his grandparents that he wants salad for his birthday! I guess greens are becoming a bit of a family obsession! I'm going to come up with some sweet Apple Juice based vinaigrette for his first salad. And I hope it all goes well, I will report back!

It leads me to think about children and food expectations. We have always cooked a meal for the family. The kids eat what we eat and sometimes we'll add a pasta side dish, or keep some of the entree less spicy to help them enjoy the meal more. If they don't eat, no big deal, they'll eat more at the next meal or snack. Kids snacks are a blog post of their own, coming soon. But as far as meals, they watch Greg and I eat our meals, they taste a little, they hear us praising ourselves (we really do), for how great the meals is, and we know they'll come around and learn to love food, really healthy food, the way we do. Meal time is a special time when we all sit together and it is one of the nicest, calmest times of day for the four of us.

I want to do a series of posts on kids and food. I will cover teaching our kids to eat well, snacks and "picky" eaters. In the meantime, inspire yourself with some great reads: "French Kids Eat Everything", "Outside the Box", and anything by Ellen Satyr.

Have a great weekend!

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