Before I had kids it never occurred to me to serve them different food from adults. In those days I was addicted to Caesar Salad and made it every time my friends came for dinner with their children. Without exception, they were astonished when their kids (who swore never to eat a salad) ate it up happily, even sometimes asking for seconds. Think about it: Caesar salad has the perfect salt/cheese/crisp/crunch combination that most kids like. Can’t get your kids to eat salad?
Sometimes kids think they don’t like a particular vegetable when in fact what they don’t like is the way it’s been cooked. Think of overcooked boiled broccoli: what could be more disgusting? And yet when roasted, broccoli is sublime.
Select one vegetable and prepare it several ways at once. Ask your kids to compare and contrast. Which version do they like the most? Is one sweeter? Richer? Prettier? What’s different about the texture? Did anything surprise you? Do you like the vegetable cooked one way and hate it another way?
Dr. Ludwig uses this mediation with his clients as a way to encourage mindful eating. In his book, Ending the Food Fight, he references a study by Cornell’s Brian Wansink (a ChopChop Healthy Hero) which shows that “the amount we eat has little to do with how much we enjoy our food.
For the past three weeks, I have been chronicling my work with Christine Zanchi and Fran Nostrame to help change the eating habits of their twin 4-year-old boys. One of the family’s assignments this week is to label the pantry and fridge items with MyPlate colors and letters.