Welcome to this year’s A to Z Challenge! This year I’m talking Child Care. I’ll be blogging topics related to my many years in the family home daycare profession. I hope you can find a tidbit of information that is useful in caring for children whether you’re a parent, grand or another important person in a child’s life. And to end each post, I’ll share a bit of my creative side/relaxation time. Taking time for yourself is good for your health–both yours and your family’s 😉
There are so many yucks in childcare but for the Letter Y I’m going with some more mealtime discussion. It is one of the number one subjects I get approached with in initial interviews and during the time I have a child in my care. Parents worry so much about their children eating. And with good reason when they go through a picky stage. Here is what I’ve learned all these years.
Meal time – Yuck! is an expression to some food you’re serving and the mention of this one little utterance can have a devastating domino effect on a meal. Once one child hears it, another one or 2 or, heaven forbid, all of them will balk. So as a general practice, I’ll request if an older, well-spoken child doesn’t like a food, just say something like, I’d rather eat my peaches right now. This way they are not influencing the entire group. And if they’ll at least try one bite (without gagging) they may learn they actually like the food. But you Never force a child to eat it. They may just need to adjust to a different aroma, texture, or appearance. They also may see with sitting family-style that the other kids are enjoying said food and by some stroke of a miracle, may try it unexpectedly. You just never know what thoughts are rolling around in their heads. And be sure to eat it yourself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cringed when a parent drops in and says, “Well I Hate carrots! I don’t know How Anyone can eat them!” I kid you not. It happens.
So, a few ideas to alleviate the yucks, are:
- #1 and most important is to eat meals as a family. I don’t care if it’s at a counter or table, just sit with them and at least appear to be eating what they are eating. Not a purchase-plan-weight-loss meal. They know the difference even at age 2.
- Use dips
- add toppings you know they like (sprinkles are your best friend), blend items in with casseroles
- add to soups
- serve with something that compliments it or allows them to try a ‘lick’. (for example, bean dip of hummus with vegies, crackers or chips.)
- Show pictures of recipes ahead of time
- Use special dishes, napkins, coffee cups, party plates, etc.
- discuss how your dad or mom ate it before on the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon with arrows flying about their heads. (family tales intrigue kids–this one is made up for the purpose of this post)
- I used to feed this to my horse, Nellie for a treat (more realistic when concerning carrots)
- mention it is loved by Superman
- tell them their hair will grow fast with at least one bite (it will grow you know).
- And bribery is also used in some attempts–if you want to run faster than George, you’d better try that hamburger
- or did you know those are the same kind of french fries you get at McDonalds?
- I’m telling you, you never know what will work.
Many foods are an acquired taste to sensitive taste buds. It’s not unheard of for it to take 20 times for a child to find it appealing. Sometimes it never happens. But don’t give up.
Blessed to have both my daughters home and spoiling us during the pandemic. Cooking for us is a treat and I want to share a little sampling of their meal choices since mealtime has been the topic today.