The Little Tikes BlogAs a little incentive to do well in school, we allow Milo to purchase a school lunch once a week. Still considered by him to be one of the highlights of his week, I look forward to hearing about what he has ordered. Today, Milo said, “I had a garden burger, but couldn’t finish it because it looked like there was egg in it.” I explained to him that garden burgers are vegetarian and that they’re typically made from eggs, mushroom, brown rice, etc. and he responded, “I didn’t think it tasted right.” His comment encouraged me think about what food choices I expose my children to on a daily basis.
Growing up in a predominantly Italian family, I never knew what I was eating. When I would question my parents about my dinner, they would tell me that it was catfish. Years later, I discovered that my parents had seldom served me catfish. However, thinking that it was something that I thought I liked, I would try it. That was a good thing - I don’t think I would’ve tried some of the food that I now love so much!
A huge fan of chicken, Hadleigh often mistakes other types of food for it. We initially began correcting her, but saw that she became scared to try new things. A few months ago, history repeated itself. When I saw that Hadleigh was hesitant to try a piece of pork that I had made for dinner, I said, “Go ahead Hadleigh, it’s chicken and you like chicken.” She looked at me and then at the piece of pork on her plate. She slowly lifted her fork to her mouth and began chewing. After she swallowed, the pork she exclaimed, “mmm…good chicken Mommy.”
As most of you know, introducing new things can be a challenge with children. For the most part, my kids are good eaters. We’ve had the same basic rule since they began eating solid food - they must at least try it, even if they’ve tried it before and didn’t like it. More often than not, they end up liking the food. I’m not advocating lying to our children to accomplish something that we’d like to happen, but rather giving them the confidence that they need when they’re too afraid to try new things.