What does it take to raise an open-minded eater? How do you turn your picky eater into a food explorer? In Skill It classes we offer only one option and it’s always healthy. The kids have made the dish themselves so there is no mystery as to what they’re eating. The sense of fun & pride they develop over the course of the class turns into an open-minded enthusiasm to try what they’ve made.
And we absolutely understand resistance! Imagine our surprise when a class full of children said “Ewwww!” about the idea of eating Ranch Dressing. Ranch Dressing? We thought that was a gold-seal, five-star, kid-friendly food! With no alternatives they made it anyway, each child armed with a jar to fill with ingredients and shake up to combine. We passed out plates of baby carrots and they all dipped in to taste their creation. What next? “This is soooo good!” and “Can I have more carrots?” followed by “Thank you for this snack!”
But the real satisfaction arrived the following week when we announced that the dish was Apples & Raisins with Orange-Honey Yogurt dressing. One child, skeptical about the dish, said “I’m not going to say ewww because I said that about the Ranch Dressing and I ended up liking it.”
Success! It’s the lessons they learn like this, on their own, through experience, that are sure to stick with them for life. It’s patience and confidence in what you present to children that leads to internalizing the lesson. Our recommendation for those of you at home? Present your child with hands-on activities and opportunities but not so many choices. Serve them fresh, healthy food, the simpler the better, and good things will follow.
Now it’s your turn to create a surprise for your kids in the kitchen!