Catalyst Cooks

Make. Food. Happen!

My mom says I didn’t eat eggs from the first time they showed up on my High Chair Tray. January 16, 2012

My food memories run deep.  From the homemade apple bread I didn’t like, because it had hidden cheddar cheese …

…to the Tortilla pie I did (and so did everyone else at the table- except for my mom- so she made it at least once a week.  She won’t touch the stuff now and never gets hungry for south-of-the-border flavors anymore).

Yes, I traded homemade chocolate chip cookies to a classmate for oreos- a win/win proposition at the time.

I’m sure we made it plenty difficult for my mom to feed us.  As the title implied, I rejected the easy-to-prepare and cheap and simple egg from age 18 months.

(I do practice making them and my lovely better half Neighbor Dave tells me if they’re good or not- I want to have those egg cooking skills in my repertoire!)

I read a short bit about getting kids to be interested in good food.  I have to say I don’t ever remember eating fruit with funny faces on it.

You, my friends, have a lot of cute kids (and perhaps some of them are now cute teenagers or adults).  Some of them are willing to eat just about anything, and open to trying what you put on their plates.  Some of them have a list of, oh, about two or three things they’ll eat.  Some of them are old enough now that they’ve changed over time (to become more selective, or more open.)

Some of you don’t worry about what will be for dinner because it’s a short list that you keep in stock.  Others of you don’t worry about what you’ll make for dinner because you can put anything on the table and it will fly.

Since I don’t have kids, but am teaching them how to cook… please tell me.

How is your kid at mealtime?

What kind of range/tolerance does your kid have for trying new foods?

Is your kid’s approach to food a function of nature or nurture?

What are the best tricks you’ve used to get your kid to enjoy mealtime?

What do you wish you had done, but didn’t?  What are you really glad you did?

Any other secrets to mealtime kids?

Curious Catalyst Cooks minds want to know!


3 Responses to “My mom says I didn’t eat eggs from the first time they showed up on my High Chair Tray.”

  1. Molly Hull Says:

    I’ve only been feeding kids for a couple years, but it didn’t take long to figure out what is a sure thing, what will be eaten with apprehension, and what will get pushed to the wayside. I actually have a list of kid-approved foods that I update when I try something new and it’s successful. My list is sorted by main dishes, side dishes, breakfast, and a column I call “crap.” Surprisingly, there’s even some “crap” that kids won’t touch. This weekend, for example, I found out Evan doesn’t like peanut butter granola bars (S’mores or chocolate chip are fine) or Nutty Bars. What kid doesn’t like Nutty Bars? He doesn’t like caramel, either.

    One of my biggest frustrations as a step-parent is meal time. I want the kids to eat healthy foods, but they will claim to be “not hungry” if they don’t like what’s on the plate, and then be scavenging for string cheese and popcorn at non-meal times. We can usually get them to try a bite or two of something new, and every once in a while we have a surprising new addition on the list (pepperoni pizza brats was the latest).

    Otherwise, the basic formula for finding something they’ll eat goes like this: carb + cheese.

    You can borrow the kids any time you want to experiment, and if you find something for me to add to the list, please let me know!

  2. Says:

    How is your kid at mealtime? One of my sons is always ready for a meal, and excited to come to the table. The other seems to never be hungry and when asked what he might want, responds regularly with ‘Nothing’.

    What kind of range/tolerance does your kid have for trying new foods? Both of my sons are not afraid to try new foods, even strange textures (like summer rolls) or interesting spices like indian food.

    Is your kid’s approach to food a function of nature or nurture? I think some elements are nuture, but some are nature. While they have some elements that are the same, there are distinct differences. Not sure if it’s personality or genetics but one of my sons is adopted and has entirely different eating habits and places far less importance on food than my biological son.

    What are the best tricks you’ve used to get your kid to enjoy mealtime? Limiting snacks leading up to dinner, making sure i join them at the dinner table for the meal and don’t get hung up serving/cleaning up, having interesting ‘dips’ to correspond with whatever they might be eating, letting them choose what they want to drink (within limits).

    What do you wish you had done, but didn’t? What are you really glad you did? Wish I wasn’t in such a hurry to get the kids fed once I have them home after work/daycare, I often choose quicker options that may not be as healthy as if i took the time to cook them up something healthier from scratch. I’m really glad I got them to try many different foods even as young kids – including spicier dishes normally reserved for adults. They are much more willing to try different foods now as they get older without turning up their noses immediately.

    Any other secrets to mealtime kids? Keeping a fairly consistent schedule and habits at the table seems to help. They also like to help when it comes to setting up for dinner, getting any condiments, napkins, and like to feel like they are contributing. They are far more likely to eat something they have helped cook with me also.

  3. Joni Courchaine Says:

    Our babies are fully grown and on their own now, so we don’t deal with the nightly dinner dance any longer. When they were growing up we made them responsible for what they ate or did not. I liked to experiment when I cooked, so dinner was different and exciting every night. They could either have what was being served for dinner, or they knew where the Cheerios were kept. This method did two wonderful things. It kept the food battle out of play, while also encouraging them to experiment with new and different foods completely within a comfortable, no pressure environment.

    While this method served a peaceful purpose, it did not make them open to eating all foods. It did however let them know that they could try new things, and were free to either accept or decline them going forward. To this day, my daughter will not eat anything with “gravy” on it, but she will eat just about any type of Asian food you sit in front of her. My son on the other hand will eat just about anything. He has however been through three cycles of a love/hate relationship with tomatoes. I always check before I put them on his salad 🙂

    I guess our kid/food experience proved that by offering them everything, and letting them choose, it gives them the ground work necessary to feel comfortable embracing new experiences and flavors. In fact, they both are very good cooks who are not afraid to open the fridge and just start throwing together some really good eats using whatever is available.

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