Is My Son a Good Eater Because I'm a Good Cook? 3 Things That May Have Helped

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?


  1. Anonymous1/08/2013

    my 15month old eats everything and anything, but my three year old is a very picky eater. Do you have any favorite recipes to get fruits and veggies in the mealshe does eat?!? Smoothies seem to work for fruit but thats about it!

  2. I'll try my best- knowing I'm not at the 3 stage yet and Anderson could turn picky on me!

    This mac and cheese gets loads of veggies in it..

    Here's the link to a veggie loaded mac recipe.

    Also the breakfast casserole with a whole bag of broccoli in it!

    And a soup with cheese and spinach and broccoli- oh my

    I made a pasta sauce the other day with eggplant in it and peppers too which cooked into the sauce- hiding them a bit and having Anderson eat them which he may not have if I just put eggplant on his plate.

    There's also this green drink I'm going to try out again on him

    And I justify pumpkin as a vegetable so I like this stuffed shells recipe!

    Hope that helps! Thanks for commenting!

  3. I hope that you have subsequent good eaters because of those things, but, I don't know that there's anything you can do to make a picky eater not so. I'm sure you have heard me moan about Whit and his stubbornness and refusal to eat many, many things. Finn eats anything and everything, but no matter what I offer Whit, he's just impossible. Maybe I can send Whit over to your house for a few days and you can train him to eat well. :) Or just give me a break. hehe.

  4. Spoken like a true Mamma of 2 Merritt. I swear I'll get a picky eater just because I'm proud of my good eater!

    Here's to hoping he grows out of it?!

  5. Anna's a fairly good eater, but certainly has been showing pickiness for the last 4-5 months with certain items (meat, primarily). I was really hard on myself at first because I've offered her a wide variety of foods since she was very young. I'm slowly accepting there's only so much I can do.

    I follow a lot of your suggestions, and if she doesn't want something I've offered then the meal is over. (We don't cater to her.) I've noticed that when I continue to offer the same thing over the course of several days or weeks she'll eventually try it, but it often takes her a long time to even put a bite in her mouth. The only thing I'm not doing, and wish I was, is eating dinner together as a family. I think this will help some of her pickiness but right now it's not feasible since she eats around 5:30 and Jonathan isn't home till 6:30.

  6. I'm no great cook, but Ellie is a great eater - her favorite food is curry!

  7. Anonymous1/22/2013

    THANK YOU for the recipes!!! Cant wait to try them out!!!! What was in your vegetable nuggets!?!? Thanks again ;)

  8. Those were from Weelicious- basically potato and chopped up veggies. Good but a bit time consuming to make!