Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My kids are eaters...

There's been a lot of talk about chit chat about a certain European country and it's children's propensity to eat everything.  This is something that I have always been very passionate about with my own children.  We are not, as I'm sure you have guessed, French.  But my kids are eaters.  There has NEVER been a kids' menu in our family (I'm pretty sure my kids would be starving if they were ever limited to the things on a kids menu).  Yeah, I know, there's lots of moms out there of "perfect" kids that never eat junk.  I'm not one of those moms (well, not anymore).  My kids, on occasion go out for ice cream.  We have pizza every Friday night.  Sometimes I even bake cookies.  It's not an everyday thing, though.  No, we don't keep snacks in the house.  At least not chips and candy and soda.  Snacks are fruit or yogurt or nuts.  No, we don't have dessert after dinner (I just wasn't raised that way).  No, we don't eat in front of the TV (unless it's pizza and a movie Friday). I could probably count on one hand the number of sodas my kids have had in their lifetime.  What's the point of all of this, you might ask?  Well, I've learned one thing over the last ten years and that is - if you introduce your kids to real food as the majority of their diet, they will eat real food all of the time.  Once the kids grew out of the introduction to solid food phase (which, by the way, was always a vegetable of some sort before anything else - usually avocado...wait, that's a fruit...), the kids ate what we ate.  They tried spices (curry, masala, ginger, allspice) and textures and flavors from all over the world as babies.  Now, I'm not saying that my one year old was eating spicy curry daily, but if I had it, she could definitely try it.  I've done it this way with all of them and they have all grown into very healthy, curious, adventurous eaters.  I promise.  Don't believe me?  Okay, let me present you with exhibit A:

This is all four of my kids devouring (and I mean they ate that WHOLE tray) a spicy Senegalese dish called tiebou dieune (our friend from Senegal who makes this pronounces it simply "cheb").  And yes, they are eating it with their hands.  They don't generally eat with their hands, but it's customary with this dish.

Exhibit B:

Yep, that is Zion's third birthday dinner of sushi.  She begged for it and  gorged herself on it (as she usually does - she can eat more than I can)

Exhibit C:

This is my husband's specialty!  It's mahi mahi with Gorgonzola white wine cream sauce (so delicious and so the reason I can't fit into my wedding dress anymore).  The salad is the kids favorite (mixed greens, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, almonds, feta and balsamic vinaigrette).  I did splurge and let them have blood orange Italian soda with dinner, because it so delicious.

This is what they cook when they cook for themselves - whole wheat penne with fresh spinach and broccoli. Jena is pouring everyone tea.

And finally Jena making a leek and onion tart.  There was nothing but crumbs left of this tart.

So, I'm not saying all of this to brag or to be showy, I just want to say that kids menus are NOT doing anything good for kids.  They are small people and can eat food just like big people.  And yes, there are going to be foods that don't go over well.  There are foods that my kids just will not eat.  Three out of the four will not eat raw celery. Zion does not like tomatoes or chocolate (No, my three year old will NOT eat chocolate.  Actually she will cry if you give her chocolate - big devastated tears).  I make them retry foods periodically, but to no avail with these three foods.  But seriously folks, feed kids real food from the very beginning and they will grow up to eat real food.  Kids in France are not the only kids who can eat everything!


  1. I love this & totally agree! My kids love love love food, love trying new foods & have very diverse palates! The fresher the better esp with the veggies! Just like their mama ;)

  2. Amen! We did the same with our son, now three and he will eat pretty much anything. And he refused to eat Fast Food the two times we decided to give him a treat. lol

  3. Ha, Francine! I took my kids to McDonald's yesterday for fries and my three year old said (and I quote) "Mommy, I didn't know there was a store that sold fries. You know, the store we were just at. The one with the M on it?" It was very funny.

  4. We were just talking about this with my daughter. She rolls with the family meal plan and I think she's better for it. Your meals look delish by the way!

  5. So happy that they prefer to eat "real" food. Their bodies will thank them in the future.