Saturday, July 24, 2010

What is This Weird Stuff on My Plate? New Food From a Child's Point of View

By Julia Moravcsik, PhD, author of Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food

Imagine that you're a 3 year old child. You sit down to dinner and look at your plate. Staring up at you are two unidentifiable lumps. Your task is to eat them.

A little scary, huh? Any adult confronted with unidentifiable lumps would poke around with a fork, or ask someone what they were.

Children are born with instincts that protect them from eating poisonous plants. In prehistoric days, eating something without knowing what it was could kill you.

Children will be reassured if a trusted parent tells them a little bit about the food that they are eating.

Tips and Techniques

When you give your child a new food, tell her what it's name is. If she is getting artichokes for the first time, tell her that they are called artichokes. Add a few fun facts. Tell her that artichokes are a kind of thistle, just like the prickly ones in the back yard.

When you give your child a mixture of foods, like stew, stir fry, or casserole, identify the ingredients. Point at each ingredient and say "That's chicken, that's carrots, that's an onion. Your child will look relieved because she doesn't have to put an unfamiliar and potentially yucky food in her mouth.

Would you like a simple, easy-to-follow program that will teach your child to love healthy food? See my new book Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food on amazon.com.

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