Do you have picky eaters in the family? This article suggests that childhood experiences do influence how picky a person becomes as an adult. It can be confusing with so many different voices in media today on how to feed well. But I really think balance is key. It is key in both a parent's attitude and what they expect. In short, God's wisdom is very much needed. It's a good thing that it is free for the asking. :)
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Research shows that eating a variety of foods leads to better overall health. I've known some picky Moms who actually pass on their food dislikes to their children which is a shame because they may like things that she doesn't. I don't happen to be a picky eater and I've somehow managed to pass on my appreciation for variety to my kids. They try most anything I serve which I am so grateful for.
It's wise to leave out some foods, such as mushrooms, until they've matured enough to accept them. Mushrooms aren't that nutritional anyway. :)
I used to make my kids "eat just one' when I'd add them to homemade pizza but I stopped a couple years ago because I didn't want them to grow up hating them before they had a chance. I love mushrooms, but I didn't taste one until I was 17 so my taste buds had matured enough to appreciate them. Now they are one of my favorite foods.
I think there is a lot of wisdom needed on a mother's part to deal with feeding her children and the ones who are never taught how veggies taste in the original state are at a great disadvantage.
Hiding veggies in food is beneficial, but can't replace the discipline afforded from eating them au naturale. I have always served them in a variety of ways - fresh, raw, steamed, broiled, simmered, grilled or sauteed - and my kids eat them without issue. I don't know if I'm just lucky or if my gentle but firm approach is the cause.
Balance Begins in the High Chair.
When my children were babies. I always introduced small tastes of common "unfavorites" baby foods (like peas) along side their more their palatable favorites (sweet potatoes, green beans and fruits) and then increased them gradually until they became normal to them. Variety was key. Over time new foods were accepted and their taste buds and palates slowly matured.
At our house, vegetables are always given and expected to be eaten. When I serve a food that isn't their favorite, I give them a very small portion and this is usually successful in eliminating battles. It's also very healthy to slather them in real butter and sprinkle with real sea salt. These not only aid in digesting veggies, it makes them so delish.
And while we all have personal favorites and aversions, none of my kids are picky eaters now. They like and eat healthy foods of all kinds and I'm confident that they are getting good, balanced nutrition. What about you? I would love to know your favorite ways to teach your children not to be picky eaters?