"Kid-Food" Doesn't Have To Be Bad Food - House of Frolic and Mirth Blog at Allrecipes.com - 162394

House of Frolic and Mirth

"Kid-Food" doesn't have to be Bad Food 
Mar. 9, 2010 6:43 am 
Updated: Mar. 14, 2010 3:06 pm
I have 2 girls, ages 7 1/2 and 7 months.  My oldest will eat anything except for salmon (unless it's smothered with honey mustard, and even then she scowls at it).  She claims it tastes like "rotten roasted chicken" and although she has never had rotten roasted chicken, she is firm with this opinion.
She will, however, eat any vegetable.  Peas, carrots, brussels sprouts, edamame, and red pepper are her favorites.  The girl can make a mean salad.  I've been asked how she became such a great eater, and I'll share my answer with all of you.  It's simple.
Since she started eating, we didn't buy into the belief that kids won't eat normal food.  So many unhealthy items are put out there as 'kid food' and most of these items just aren't healthy.  She was introduced to vegetables very early on and learned to love them, and knew that they would be served daily.  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the occasional chicken nugget, hamburger, and mac & cheese, but these items should not be a child's sole source of nutrition.  With obesity and diabetes being so prevalent in our country, I decided that I would take control of my children's diet to give them the best start possible.  I'm not strict about it, it's just the way our household works.  My oldest knows the difference between junk food and food that's good for her body, and she knows a healthy choice from an unhealthy one.  There is nothing wrong with setting some rules for kids to follow when it comes to what they consume.  We're raising adults, and we set the groundwork for their ideas about nutrition and other life choices. 
My next blogs will detail some of our family favorites, including healthy packed lunches so stay tuned!
Fruit Cream Cones--Personal Recipe
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Mar. 9, 2010 7:13 am
Love it!!! I have an almost 2 year old that loves veggies...and actually does like salmon :) Can't wait to hear your family favorites! Great blog
Mar. 9, 2010 7:46 am
I agree - we were getting to the point where we were giving my daughter too many convenience foods, and in a way I think we were conditioning her taste buds to like that stuff more than healthy foods! My daughter won't touch fish, but I'm still working on her!
Mar. 9, 2010 8:58 am
Great job. When I was young, I was allowed to leave it if I didn't like it, but I had to try it first. So I learnt to eat aything and then pass judgement. My Dad also made a game of it and sometimes we had to eat blindfolded and see if we could taste it just with our mouth and noses! It worked well for us!
Mar. 9, 2010 9:41 am
Mar. 9, 2010 9:47 am
I am looking forward to getting some great ideas from your posts. Very nicely done!
Mar. 9, 2010 7:19 pm
That's great! I have two little excellent eaters. I'm looking forward to your ideas!
Mar. 10, 2010 3:38 am
You have the right idea! Start 'em young! Your daughter will never lose her love of veggies (and that is a very good thing).
Mar. 10, 2010 5:18 pm
All of our kids eat veggies and fish - exposure is the key. Education is the answer. Good job!
Mar. 10, 2010 5:34 pm
Good job jrb! You kids will thank you later!
Mar. 10, 2010 7:53 pm
I 100% agree with ALL you've written! It is refreshing & very heartening to see another family raising our planet's future with the knowledge & dietary habits that will make them/society healthier. ~~~ To you, jrbaker & all parents of young children reading this, I'll tell you this about their likely future, because my children are now in their late teens:: 1) Everything IS important. My firstborn had 100% of my time in the 1st 3 yrs., & so ONLY ate breast milk (2-1/4 yrs total), then homemade organic baby food puree, & then cut-up food from our meals (except for hot chile! lol), and purified water, 100% juice, & milk inside of foods/drinks (but not daily glasses of milk). My 2nd child had almost the same, but I did make a few exceptions, like he breastfed for only 1-1/2 yrs., tasted formula 2-3 times, tasted jarred baby food 2-3 times & experienced the infrequent serving of prepared or fast foods a little more often than the 1st child, because the 2nd had a more tired mom. Altho' it could be that they would have had different tastes anyway, I'm fairly certain from this 2 child experiment that the more often a child tastes those less healthy foods, the more likely that they'll demand & choose those in the near & far future. 2) From toddlerhood on, I talked about foods & choices. In the early years, I'd simplify nutrition talks by labeling unhealthy foods as "hi fat", "hi salt", "hi sugar". If they wanted something I didn't want to give them, I could quickly say "No, sweetie, that's hi in fat - it's not healthy for your body," & they quickly understood & accepted. Never had a temper tantrum at a store's check-out where candy & chips abound! (Actually, they only had ONE tantrum & it wasn't about food!) 3) I taught that 'unhealthy' foods were okay in moderation through stating that & through example. 4) Now, as older teens, they themselves are making healthy & interesting choices (usually!), like: they minimize/leave out adding fatty salad dressings, butter/sour cream; they choose to drink water regularly, even when I've offered them soda for special times (like Movie night)!! ~~ So, to all young parents, know that most of your huge efforts DO pay off. Great blog subject, & well-written also! I'm subscribing!
Mar. 10, 2010 7:55 pm
Oops! Sorry that was so long. Couldn't see its length in the tiny writing box!
Mar. 10, 2010 8:24 pm
Sorry for 3rd post, but want to clarify "ONLY ate breast milk (2-1/4 yrs total)" ....I mean he breastfed for 2-1/4 yrs. & NEVER had a taste of formula. He breastfed exclusively for the 1st 6 months, then had homemade organic baby food puree added for the next few months. I don't want anyone to think that I gave him ONLY breast milk for 2-1/4 yrs.! lol! (2+ yrs. may seem to N. Americans & many Europeans to be too long, but know that this is what much of the world is doing, & has always done for 2+ million years! Also, it was their sole source of milk during that time since Dad & I both are not milk-drinkers. I saw it as a nutritional supplement, & hoped they would wean themselves, as I raised them to trust their bodies.)
Mar. 11, 2010 4:28 am
Thanks everyone! I hope to post more this weekend when I have more time.
Mar. 13, 2010 6:20 pm
Great blog. It is nice to see yound mothers who are aware that the choices they make affect their childrens' eating habits when they get older. I had 5 and really couldn't afford junk food or too much convenience food so as soon as they began eating, their food was a puree of whatever we were having. I don't think I ever bought baby food. I'm happy to say they have grown to be healthy, slender adults.
Mar. 14, 2010 3:06 pm
I wish my girls were more open-minded about veggies. I'm trying to get them to eat more veggies of course, the story of my life, and haven't had much success. They are starting to warm up to sweet potatoes though, and they like broccoli soup. They are familiar with the veggies we use when baking muffins (zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, etc.) so I'm hoping that will help smooth things along.
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About Me
I LOVE ALLRECIPES! Cooking is one of my passions, and the way I express appreciation and love for my family & friends. They all know me as "the cook" in our circle--if anyone needs a recipe, I'm the one they ask. I've traveled all over the country and love sampling regional foods. I tend to stay away from chain restaurants in favor of local ones, and enjoy the delicious variety each part of the country offers. Food photography is another favorite hobby of mine. I have 2 beautiful girls who like being in the kitchen with their Mama. Please find more of me and what I'm about on my blog: http://houseoffrolicandmirth.blogspot.com/
My favorite things to cook
My absolute favorite recipes are clones from restaurants--it's so much fun to have people ask "did you really make this?" I also enjoy pastas, vegetable dishes, and creating lower fat, healthier recipes from those that aren't so healthy. Packing my two girls' lunchboxes every day is also a fun challenge--we like healthy and fun meals that focus on nutrition.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every year for my daughters' birthdays, they get their favorite cake or cupcakes (it changes every year). We almost always have their parties at home. At Christmas, I love baking biscotti for gifts and myself; ).
My cooking triumphs
Each Christmas I host dinner for my family, and it's the one time during the year that I get to cook everything for them! I plan the menu for weeks-having a successful meal is the highlight of my year. Also, almost every New Year's Eve, I host a dinner for friends, and they get so excited about being invited--it's great to know that I can cook something they enjoy so much. Lastly, I have coworkers and a boss who LOVE to sample my latest creations! (They'll eat anything......)
My cooking tragedies
I can't make a good gravy. And I'm Southern! Also, I once froze bagged salad that was buy one get one free. I was only 20, and not very savvy about lettuce storage! I learned very quickly that you can't freeze lettuce.......
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