From the time our children are able to eat something besides milk, we routinely ask ourselves as mothers: what am I going to feed this child? At the beginning, I would ask myself things like… When should I wean my child off breast milk? What kind of formula should I buy for emergencies? Rice or no rice cereal? Organic food or conventional? How many types of foods should I introduce my baby to at one time? Is it too soon to introduce this… and so on.
By the time my daughter turned one, I felt it was as much of an accomplishment for me as it was for her to reach that 1st year milestone. I had not gone mad, crazy, or obsessed with what to feed my child. I just went along and made baby food at home that seemed age appropriate.
The child that ate everything soon became aware that she could have choices. Welcome to the “picky-eaters” club, I thought. The search for answers to why my child became so choosy with her food became a quest
mission to find creative ways to get her to eat a good, healthy, wholesome diet.
My toughest fight is lunch at school. Other kids bring store-bought lunches, pre-packaged foods, sugary snacks or the school’s fast-food catered lunch. She constantly asks me to order her lunch from school or she’ll point at a packaged lunch at the grocery and say: “those are the ones my friends have.” I’ve realized that the way to make a child really want something is to make it the forbidden fruit. My daughter is surrounded by “fun” looking food; and in truth, no kid wants to feel left out.
I’ve since looked at the whole picture and have asked myself: what would make her belong?
Lunch lesson #1: Kids eat with their eyes.
In less than five minutes I create my version of a store bought lunch: real cheese, whole wheat crackers, nitrate free turkey, low sugar drink, fruit, and always a little treat. An added bonus is a packaged hand wipe since the entire lunch will be eaten with her hands. Happy Lunch Making!