Posted by: mchleen | September 11, 2009

Expanding (toddler) culinary horizons?

This post was inspired by a conversation I recently had with some mom-friends about picky eating (thanks for the inspiration Diana and Karly!).  I don’t know if I was just lucky or if somehow I had a hand in it, but irregardless I guess I’m lucky that I don’t have a picky eater.

Ava will eat – or at least try – pretty much anything that you put in front of her.  I’ve always tried to encourage this by creating familiarity with a twist.  Think about homemade items that mimic popular kids’ food*, or by topping new things with things she likes – like cheese (cheese, oh glorious cheese!), or calling new things by familiar names.  For instance: homemade pizza on whole wheat english muffins with diced tomatoes instead of sauce, or bruschetta but called “pizza” and topped with a small sprinkle of cheese.  Or if she likes crackers and cheese -yes, cheese again – trying new cheeses like dill havarti on the same crackers she usually eats.  If we’re going through a “no vegetables, no way” phase I’ll puree them with a little cottage cheese – yes, cheese again – and calling it something toddler-alluring, like Oh Yummy Cheesy Stuff!.

[Hmmm, I’m sensing a pattern here of cheese and carbs.  Perhaps I’ve just subconsciously been indoctrinating her into my evil servitude to cheese and carbs.  Uh oh!!]

So maybe Ava’s not a picky eater, or maybe she’s just gullible and carb-crazy like her mama.  But I share this with you because as Barney says, “sharing is caring!”.

e.g., tonight – Mac’n’Cheese:  alphabet pasta tossed with edamame beans, a little cottage cheese and some herb Alouette cheese.  It’s Mac’n’Cheese but she gets her veggies and calcium and her palate gets used to “herbiness” and hey – alphabet pasta’s FUN!

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