| || |
#3 of The Picky Eaters Series - 3 Strategies for Peaceful Mealtimes
February 11, 2012 - Jamie O'Hare
Strategy #3 - Include kids in buying, growing, and prepping food.
I know, I know, this one is a PAIN. If you ever see me with my kids at Mt de Chantel Kroger or Jebbias, you'll know us by the noise and chaos swirling around my cart. However, I feel like there are many good lessons to be learned in the store with my kids. When they ask for a treat, we look at the box and try to find the ingredients to make it at home and make it healthier. They are also more likely to eat vegetables and fruits that they have helped to select. I have my kids each choose a fruit and a raw vegetable that they like, and it's amazing how fast the food disappears!
I'm hoping that we start gardening again this year. My kids have enjoyed helping with a vegetable garden before we moved to Wheeling, and I can't wait to try again this spring! The anticipation of yummy food they have helped to grow will make the food taste more delicious and will give us a fun outdoor activity. My kids also love to visit the farmer's market meet the people who grow our food. I am really looking forward to taking them berry picking this summer as well.
The big struggle I have is with letting kids help in the kitchen. My 8 year old likes to help with grinding wheat for bread (yeah, I'm crazy), my 6 year old is fascinated by feeding our compost pile, and my 3 year old has an elaborate kitchen set stocked with decoy items to keep her busy while I'm cooking. Letting any one of them help me in the kitchen means that the oldest 3 will all be crowded around me, and the baby will be strapped to me, and the dog will be underfoot, so I have to set some ground rules. Only one helper at a time, and only if the baby is sleeping. Everyone must wash their hands, and no fingers are to go into their mouths or their noses (strange what rules I have to make these days!). King Arthur Flour has a great post on baking with kids this month, and you can check it out in the links posted.
It's a powerful lesson for kids to see where food comes from, to develop an appreciation for the work it takes for it to get from farm to table, and to learn that trying new foods can be enjoyable. I hope that these posts have inspired some readers to try something new with their kids, and I welcome your feedback!
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment