It’s Foodie Tuesday!
We love to cook and we love to eat and naturally we want to pass on our healthy and enthusiastic relationship with food to our kids. Apparently it’s easier said than done given the reluctance of our 17 month old to eat much of anything these days (teething pain). But it definitely helps to involve him in kitchen – and beyond! Looking to cultivate a master chef, or at least an adventurous eater, some tips from the experts:
The Tiny (but Mighty) Sous Chef
At 16 months, my son’s first sentence was “I crack eggs” as he lunged for the carton in the open fridge. So we do a lot of that. If he’s involved in the cooking, he’s less reticent to eat. And he marvels at how the many eggs he cracks can become everything from a scramble to pasta.
- When your sous chef is pint sized it helps to be organized. Delegate those ability-appropriate tasks to kids but remember to tidy the rest of the work area of sharp utensils, raw meats, antique dishes, etc. And give kids the low-down on what’s off limits and why. Check out this resource from the Food Network for loads more tips.
- If it’s a really little one you’re involving, try bringing the high chair into the kitchen and narrate what you’re doing. Talk about the smells of the ingredients, bringing each up to her nose. Texture games can also be fun: letting them muck about in a bowl of lentils or flour.
These little piggies went to market
Image courtesy of Nature Moms
Every Monday there’s a beautiful farmer’s market in a nearby park. It’s become a fun excursion for us: rolling around in green space, learning about fruits, veg, cheese and meats from the farmers. The little guy chooses a favourite fruit and vegetable each week. Rationale: giving kids vegetable autonomy increases likelihood of consumption. Sounds science-y right?
Toddler Dinner Parties
Too young for cooperative play, but sharing a meal is something that my toddler and his friends love to do. And nothing’s cuter than two toddlers chatting across the table, clinking sippy cups, and sharing a meal. We’d host them three times a day if we could.
Junior Master Chef Australia
Thanks to Nathalie for turning me on to this fabulous Australian cooking competition. 50 kids aged 8 to 12 cook the most amazing meals in a bid to become Junior Master Chef. It’s amazing! It’s inspiring! How wonderful would it be to have a kid that cooks? Now if I could just get mine to eat breakfast…
Any one else lived to tell the tale of a finicky eater turned food-loving grown up?