Thursday, March 4, 2010

Defined Tastes

There are plenty of foods I could live without. Mushrooms, fish, shrimp, lobster, cream corn, artichokes, squeaky cheese, well all cheese except cheddar and mozzarella pretty much, lemon meringue pie, pie crust with sweet pie filling (I like it with savory things like chicken pot pie, but not sweet things), the list goes on. I can not think of any more at the moment, but I know there are more. I am probably considered a picky eater. I just consider myself defined in the food world. My son only likes carbs and protein. He is pretty defined in his food habits too. He is young, it can change.

My mother-in-law is a dietitian. She has a lot of ideas on how to get kids to eat new things. I have have been using them on myself too. Here is some advice if you or your child needs it.

1) If your child or you say you don't like it, keep serving it anyways. It takes 13 times before a child may actually try something.

2) A rule at our house is you are not aloud to say you don't like it unless you have tried it. So our kids have to taste one of everything at dinner. They don't have to eat it all, they just have to taste it. I have been doing this too. My husband has been proud when I will taste his fish or shrimp when we are out to eat. I am trying to grow my pallet.

3) Let your kids help in the kitchen. If they help make it, they are more enthusiastic to try it.

4) Don't let your child snack all day and then expect them to eat dinner. They will not be hungry. Don't give them snacks or juice in the hour before dinner.

5) Make food fun. Kids love to dip there food and they love there food in fun shapes. You can also serve many colors of food. Make it look appealing.

6) Turn of the TV during dinner. No books or newspapers at the table. Minimize the distractions around you. It is better for family meal time anyways.

7) Don't be a short order cook! This is the most important of all. If you make yourself dinner and your kids something else you are only making things worse. You are encouraging the behavior. Make dinner and give choices. If they are really picky you can offer one thing you know they will eat as a side dish, but don't offer them something else if they will not eat dinner. My kids go to bed hungry some nights, but I am not a short order cook. I think too many people fall into this habit. I have done it before. Your kids will pick up that dinner time is eating-what-is-offered not eating-what-I-want time. Eventually they will eat dinner by cutting out the rest of the fillers you give them when they won't eat.

So what do my kids love for dinners (my 4-year-old daughter is right here, these are her exact answers). Noodles, green beans, pancakes, chicken, beans, quesadilas, sour cream, mashed potatoes, carrots, etc... She is my awesome eater. We have to be careful while we are cutting up our green peppers because she will eat them all before they make it in the pan if we are not careful. The "picky" eater is a new thing for us with my youngest. He will come around, I know he will.

To share a recipe, we had this last night for dinner Fettuccine with Sweet Pepper Cayenne Sauce. The only difference was we added an onion and used gamelli pasta instead of fettuccine. My kids ate more then my husband and me combined. It was delicious!

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME!! Thank you Cali.. Now I know I am not alone! We have the same rule here. I have 7 kids. 2 that will eat whatever is served. One that says, I don't want that, but then will eat it. Another that looks disgusted at every dinner, but eats some. One that acts like you are feeding him raw slugs. One that will pick at it, to make it look like she tried it, and another who will stare at it and try to evaporate whatever thing she doesn't like. Rather comical.. but frustrating.