That’s my son:-). My super hero<3. What’s he eating? He’s eating the hummus out of our hummus sampler.
When my kids eat, I always try my hardest to not make a face. Kids have their own ideas of what might be tasty. Their thoughts on food are innocent. For some, their thoughts are solely shaped on taste and the faces that their parents make. I almost made my blog title ‘don’t make a face’.
I always get the question…”How do you get your kids to eat XXX?” The answer, we offer our kids what we eat, and we don’t make a face when they want to try something.
I love taking my children to eat Japanese and my daughter(5 yrs old) asking for tuna sashimi. I love asking my son if he wants to go to McDonalds or have Chinese and he says in his sweet voice “CHINESE!!!”
Don’t get me wrong, my kids enjoy McDonalds and actually refuse food from time to time, but overall, they are usually willing to try and often enjoy different types of food.
Our rule is that you have to try a bite. If you don’t care for it, you politely move onto the next thing. Don’t make a big deal about not liking it because someone at the table may love that food or spent a lot of time making it and making a rude face or comment could hurt that persons feelings.
If you don’t like something, why make a production about it? It’s between you and your own plate. When you make a face, your child sees that. When you make a big deal, your child hears AND sees that. Children notice so much more than grown ups give them credit for.
While my children do come up with food combinations that I would not personally care for; oranges dipped in hummus or apples dipped in Chick-Fil-A sauce, I sit by and let them experiment.
Your children love you so much. You are their hero. They look up to you with their whole heart and soul. Take this amazing opportunity to expand their tastes or at least remove the fear of trying something new:-).
Just think…if your child loves all sorts of food, you don’t have to hesitate at an invitation to go to dinner ANYWHERE! What if your child has the opportunity to go travel overseas…wouldn’t you rest easy knowing that of all your concerns and fears, food would never cross your mind? My parents made it a point to expose my sisters and I to every nationality of food available to us. My sisters and I know a ‘favorite food’ in almost every ethnicity we’ve been exposed to.
My husband and I took this all to heart when we had our first child. We made sure she ate the same foods as us as well as exposed her as many different ethnic foods as possible. We saw this all pay off when our daughter was 2 1/2 years old.
We had the opportunity to be in Japan for an extended period of time. At the time, our daughter was 2 1/2 years old and when we told people we were going to Japan, I was shocked by the number of people whose first reaction was ‘Congrats’ and whose second reaction was then ‘Are you worried what your daughter will eat?’ My reaction 1.’Thank you.’ And 2. ‘Not at all, our daughter loves Japanese food:-)’. Her favorite foods at the time were 1.Rice 2. Fish and 3. Noodles:-)
We had an incredible time in Japan. Our daughter thrived and loved every minute of the food she encountered! It was pain free and a simple joy<3. I cannot wait to return to Japan with our son now too!
The hardest part of it all, is it begins with you, the parent. You have to be brave. You have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. You have to be willing to modify your current behavior(if you’re a picky eater), and be willing to take your own advice. What do you have to lose from trying something new? If you try something new and you don’t care for it…what are you going to do….how will you react? Remember…your little ones are watching you. If you are the uncle, aunt, cousin, grandparent, neighbor, or friend, same goes to you. A single voice can leave a powerful impression.
Cheers to raising the next generation with the broadest palate ever!!!!
Remember…They Will Love Your Effort<3