Monday, March 29, 2010

Picky parents = picky kids?

Children are notorious for being picky eaters. Everyone says they will grow out of it, but I know my fair share of adults who are just as picky (if not pickier) than the average kid. I deal with food allergies, so I am forced to be selective in what I eat, but I try my hardest to not let it influence my children's habits.

Everyone has foods they don't enjoy, but we don't have to make those the foods our kids don't like too. Don't be afraid to cook your children a meal you would never eat - they may love it, and you'll never know if you never try.

For instance, I've never been a fan of tofu. Probably more mental than anything else, but I'm not a fan. My kids however (especially Grayson) LOVE tofu. Same with green peas, coconut, and peanut butter - I hate them, but my kids gobble it all right up.

And don't be afraid to give young children exotic foods. There is nothing wrong with little ones being exposed to various spices, flavors, and textures. It'll create more adventurous adult eaters! Harper loves anything hot and spicy, with a little extra water in her cup to go along with it. :) Don't assume you need to make your kids a separate meal if you're serving a "foreign" dish (after all, what do you think kids in Spain or India are eating?).

Also, please keep in mind that it may take 10-15 exposures to a food/meal for a child to like or accept it. (Remember this if you're an adult too! If you didn't like a food when you were six years old, you might want to give it another shot!!) The rule in our house is that you don't have to clean your plate, but you have to at least try everything, even if it is something you hated the last time.

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