Thursday, February 3, 2011

petit et gros "big and small"

First, I am going to say what I am sure you have heard a thousand times -- and said "yeah, right" after, especially if you have a picky eater: Kids learn by example so if you eat a healthy balanced and varied diet they will. I say both 'yes' and 'no' to this.

If you teach by example, your kids are more likely to grow up and be healthy adults. However, just because you eat a macrobiotic organic vegan diet does not necessarily mean your 2 year old will want to do the same.

One thing I recently realized is that new food are scary even if it's a somewhat familiar food that they are used to eating in a juice or in bread or what not. I came to this epiphany at the grocery store a few weeks ago while staring at some exotic fruit like rambutan, dragon fruit and some other thing that was yellow that I can not even remember the name. I was thinking, "I should get some of these to try it would be good for the monster to learn about these" and then said to myself "what if I don't like them?" and went home with only the usual winter fruits in my basket: banana, oranges, clementines, pineapple and mangos.

I have to say now that I am writing this, I promise next week I will buy one item that I have never tried when I do the groceries.

One thing I also noticed over the holidays is that kids like things their size -- small. Often adult things are just too big. For example C monster has child cutlery; a small pillow; smaller dishes; smaller clothing; smaller bed; smaller potty; even a smaller chair and table. I was eating a clementine and my son said "petit like me" this eventually turned into him trying some.

So one way that I came up with; to make foods a little less intimidating for him is find stuff his size. If I make pizza i make a little one just for him (often he evens helps). I have also tried to find small foods: quail eggs, clementines, baby carrots, baby bananas. The next thing I think I may try is baby cucumbers and baby red peppers; I'm also looking forward to the summer to try kiwi berries with him. Not everything is a success but he is usually interested enough in the tiny foods that he will at least try them. For the record, the quail eggs, clementines and bananas are a success. The carrots, I can get him to eat one here and there so it's a success in the making.

When I'm getting him to try the food the first time, it often helps if both Geoff and I sit down with a regular version of the food and we all try it together. Of course both Geoff and I say "yummy" and "I like this" and ask him "do you like..."?

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