Although it hasn't been written before, I'd be the first to admit that I think my son is a good eater because I'm a good cook. I've lovingly made meals for our family with him in mind and raised my head a little higher when he cheerfully gobbled up homemade macaroni and cheese with loads of spinach and peas in it or enchiladas that are pilled high with beans, cheese, corn, and squash. I've offered him just about everything my husband and I eat from the beginning and for the most part he will try it.
Is it really all about me though? No.
Similar to the sleeping patterns your child develops I know in my head, and my heart, that my cooking isn't the only reason why Anderson eats so well. What I do think has helped are the following things.
1. Saying Goodbye to Kids Meals. I'm a firm believer that if you feed your child macaroni, grilled cheese, and french fries multiple times a week they won't be too thrilled when you offer them green beans, turkey, and pears. I have to wonder if the way we cater to our children at restaurants has contributed to the rise in childhood obesity, diabetes, and overall picky eaters. Anderson is offered small amount of whatever my husband and I order for meals while out, offering him new flavors and offering us a less expensive check.
2. Understanding His Palette. An avid home cook, I have tweaked recipes to cater to our little one. Spice, salt, and strong flavors or textures have been thoughtfully minimized for our fifteen month old but not eliminated. A lover of hot sauce, I've encouraged my husband to add more spice to his own dish as we gradually teach Anderson the flavors of salsa and curry.
3. He sees me Cooking. Once Anderson could crawl we quickly child-proofed our kitchen making measuring cups, tablespoons, and spatulas available for him to play with while I'm preparing a meal. Although those can keep him occupied for some time he enjoys seeing what I'm making and has learned to say the word "hot" because of the countless times I've held him while scrambling eggs or stirring pasta sauce. Has the process of cooking encouraged his sense of intrigue and desire to eat what we're making?
What do you think? Do all good cooks have good eaters? If you hate to cook how have you helped your kids love to eat?