Saturday, September 24, 2011

picky eaters?

Why is it that one of my children loves to eat and try new things while the other knows what he likes and gets all upset when I try to introduce anything different or new? It's a mystery to me. On a normal dinner time meal I have learned to brace myself before serving the food. It's inevitable that a certain child of mine will refuse to even try several items from the nights menu. Often I've found it's just easier to give him what he likes and eat the meal in peace... but at the same time another part of me wants to MAKE him at least try something new, p-l-e-a-s-e! When that part of me surfaces it usually leads to begging -bribery -threats, you know the normal great parenting techniques (sigh). It's been high time for me to try something new.

My book recommendation is 'Gregory, the Terrible Eater' by Mitchell Sharmat.
In this story we meet Gregory, your typical goat in all ways but one...
he doesn't like to eat what goats are supposed to like to eat. While his parents try in every way to coerce him into eating tin cans (etc) all he wants to eat is fruits, veggies, scrambled eggs and other non-goatish foods. It's quite maddening to mom and dad goat. This is one of those silly backwards books that makes kids laugh. It's funny and fun with that traditional message- 'try something new and you might actually like it'. We read this book together then I took the kids to the kitchen. (Earlier at the grocery story -and out in my garden- I picked up a variety of foods that we don't normally eat mixed with a few my child won't normally try.) I knew that the pasta would be an instant winner, I just got a kind we'd never tried before- but they love all noodles. We talked about how when Gregory tried a little bit of something new he found he really liked it after all. We made a deal that we would all try at least one bite of everything. Here's the food...

We started with the coconut, this was the first time I've ever done anything with a raw coconut... we pulled out the drill and drained out the milk. The kids loved this! We split up the milk and all tried a swallow.

Then the kids helped me slice, dice and prepare the rest of lunch. They weren't sure they would like everything but they were committed to try. And, they all did try at least one bite of each food. Here's what the food looked like when we were ready to dig in.

There was no begging- bribery- threats this time around. The combination of reading the story before hand and having them help with preparation made a big difference. (I would like to add in here that I LOVE it when my children are introduced to new foods at pre-school or by another loving trusted adult -ie grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc- I have found that my kids, for some reason or another, are much more willing to try something new in these situations. ...Like the day last year when my son came home from class announcing that he actually really likes carrots, before this I couldn't get him to eat a carrot for anything.)

Here's to trying something new!- robyn

PS There are lots of books that would be great choices for this lesson, for instance 'Green Eggs and Ham' by Dr. Suess would do the job just as well.


  1. So I know what your boys thought, but what about baby? That coconut is so cool! Its fun to have fun with food...maybe if I read more books about fun food then I will be more inclined to cook delicious things? That would be cool-great post!

  2. Oh... baby ate everything. and then she ate all the food from her brothers plates that they had left. baby loves food. -robyn

  3. This comment is from 'Second Grade Snowflake' (she thought of the codename herself).
    that is a great idea and that is a good idea because, I do not like some foods to.
    She said she would try this too! One bite of each of my pick without complaining and whining!!(oh, she might be changing her mind)

  4. Second grade snowflake- great code name! one of my alias identities is the snow queen... I'm pretty proud of that. hope trying out new things works out good for you... and your mom- good luck! -robyn


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