When my children were babies, I spent hours making fresh purees, introducing different flavours to expose them to various foods. Now, years later are my children adventurous eaters? NO!!
I ask myself why? I have noticed that every time we go out to eat the children’s menus are almost the same; sausage, nuggets and fish fingers with chips or mash and beans. The more exotic locations offer spaghetti bolognaise or processed food shapes.
I marvel at how easily young palettes become tainted or is it us, as parents, who give in too easily, to the “I don’t like it” appeals from our children and opt for the safe option. However I have started to push my children to try new things, last week they had pizza at Pretso and also enjoyed Babychinnos (a posh way of doing hot milk!). Then there was Nandos!! My eldest son has decided he likes spicy food and that Nandos Extra Hot chicken sauce was for him. Not wanting to curb his desires, but also mindful of the result, I asked for one of his three chicken pieces to be Extra Hot and the rest a tamer medium. The staff were great and his hot piece was suitably marked. He took the piece looked at it contemptuously and took a large bite, chewed, swallowed and promptly said “not hot at all”. I told him to wait. Then we saw it, the slight shock in his eyes and the determination not to admit it was hot and spicy. Well he didn’t say it was hot and ate the rest – a smile of pride came over me and I can now see a potential chilli eating champion!!
The point is, I think we cosset our children with our expectations and don’t allow them to explore food for themselves. I get annoyed when I go abroad, for example Spain, and I see families tucking into egg and chips, rather than trying local foods like paella. I love my fast food and understand the need for meals a child will eat but I like to push occasionally, exposing them to new experiences (my boy’s tried liver and onions at Morrison’s). Why not be a little adventurous with shopping, try a different fruit -the Star fruit, Sharron fruit or the Lychee Juice rather than apple juice, perhaps just a different cereal for breakfast. Who knows? Your children may even like it.
Till next time happy eating !!!