This week we launched one of our most exciting and challenging projects to date: to help one family change the eating habits of their twin 4-year-old boys in just six weeks. With the help of ChopChop advisor Dr. David Ludwig, we want to assist them in accomplishing their goals, namely, to serve one meal at dinner (not something different for each kid) and have the boys approach the dinner table with an open mind. We don’t expect them to become gourmet eaters or to like everything they taste (we don’t even insist they taste everything): we just want them to stop critiquing what’s on the table before they sit down. We also want them to gain some understanding (they are only 4, after all) of what constitutes a “healthy” meal, even if they don’t always eat one. At ChopChop, we believe that most every child can learn to enjoy most real foods, particularly if those foods are what are offered to cook, share and eat. In other words, transform a picky eater.
We teamed with Christine Zanchi and Fran Nostrame, the parents of the twins. One twin, Nathaniel, eats everything while the other, Andrew, is your typical “picky eater.” Christine was ready to stop being a short order cook and is looking for strategies to deal with the dinnertime drama and broaden the nutritional repertoire of her family.
Follow along over at the New York Times Motherlode blog every Wednesday for the next six weeks as we document what happens. We’d love to hear about your dinnertime challenges: we certainly know that they’re different in every family. I’ll be posting additional thoughts here on our blog along the way.