Well said, Dr. Katz! We Must Be Kidding! The Case for Eradicating ‘Kid’ Food encourages parents to resume control of what their children are eating, not to cave in to begging kids on the grocery aisles, relentless advertising, or convenience.
Imagine if baby whales, weaned from milk, didn’t learn to eat krill; they were indulged with sugar-frosted flukes or some such thing. Imagine the fussy eaters among the lion cubs who turned up their noses at wildebeest and held out for mac and cheese. Imagine mama and papa dolphin talking themselves into the need to indulge junior’s apparent aversion to fish. Crackers shaped like fish –fine, but actual fish? Fuhgeddaboudit!
I have never understood “kid food” anyway. Shouldn’t kids eat what adults eat? I remember when I was visiting family in California and we asked the little boy what he was in the mood for — he said sushi! How awesome is that? We got sushi and he crushed it!
Feeding Kids What You Eat from the Start
As a new mom myself, I am dedicated to helping my daughter develop her food preferences. In that vein, I have decided to skip the whole “food stages” and spoon feeding purees in favor of providing her with the food I eat when I eat it and allowing her to regulate how much she eats and whether or not she eats, vis a vie Ellyn Satter’s “Division of Responsibility”
So far I can say it is going well after I got over my own “mom fears,” which I fully intend to write about soon. Suffice it to say, it takes some chillin’ out and rollin’ with it. F-L-E-X-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y.
Check her out! She’s only 7 months and she can pack down tomato, sweet potato, and even a lamb slider!
What Parents Can Do Anytime
One of the easiest ways to “eradicate” kid food is to choose quality foods that come into the house in the first place. Three simple grocery shopping tips:
- Fill the cart with a variety of unprocessed and minimally processed foods – fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, beans, nuts, seeds. You can turn just about any fruit into a delicious snack or sweet dessert.
- Check the ingredients label of packaged foods. Can you pronounce them? Even something like potato chips can have few ingredients. However, lots of foods marketed as “kid friendly” or healthy in some way can have lots of colors, flavors, additives, or just hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
- Balanced house for balanced plates. After the abundance of fruits and veggies (half plate) and lean proteins (1/4 plate) and whole grains (1/4 plate), of course, there will likely be some dessert or snack foods that don’t get the A+ in nutrition. Pick one or two items to have around and offer them as part of meals.
These simple suggestions can help wipe out ‘kid’ food and pave the way for a healthier tomorrow.
Above all else, be a role model by eating healthy yourself. Children tend to mimic the people they see daily, so be sure to send them the right message. Eat balanced and eat with them! I’ll be writing about the value of the family meal coming up!