Today, in this Your Child Explained episode, where we always get into the mind of our kids’ heads, we’re looking at exposure to new foods from the perspective of our kids.
March has been – and continues to be – all about food here at We Turned Out Okay, and today’s episode pertains to two interviews from this month: my conversation with mom and author of The Lost Art of Feeding Kids Jeannie Marshall in episode 60 (click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/060 to listen) and my conversation with mom and author of the cookbook My Kitchen In Rome Rachel Roddy in episode 63 (click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/063 for that one). Those were two fantastic conversations, I learned so much about kids, food, and the interactions of one with the other while talking to these two great women! I know you’ll love our chats, so if you haven’t yet, go back and take a listen – that said, neither episode is a prerequisite to today’s.
Jeannie and Rachel are friends who live in Rome, Italy; each has a son in the Roman school system – and both are quick to note the differences between the school lunches they remember growing up in Canada and England respectively, and school lunches their sons enjoy each day.
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/064 for further notes from today’s Your Child Explained!
Similar to the school lunches that you probably remember, Jeannie and Rachel ate a lot of frozen pizza, French fries, and limp salads in school. In Rome – as in most places in Italy – each school has a chef, who makes fresh and extremely varied dishes each day, serving them family-style and eating with the children and teachers! Kids are exposed to foods in Italy that we’d never dream of sharing with them here in North America or England; in fact Rachel’s 4 1/2-year-old son Luca came home the other day talking about how he “didn’t like the car coffee” served at school. Rachel thought briefly “they are giving my son coffee?”… and then realized that the phrase car coffee is a phonetic pronunciation of the Italian word for artichokes. Luca may not have liked them, but he was exposed to artichokes in school that day!
And that is how kids get out of picky eating, become more adventurous and able to handle different foods. We can’t expect our kids to be exposed to only the same nine or 10 foods in their young lives, and then suddenly become adventurous (or even less picky). It’s up to us parents to change their exposure at home – to make nuggets be the treat and variety be the norm.
I know how difficult that is; episode 59 from the first week in March was all about how my own picky eater turned adventurous (listen here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/059). Through our experiences in my own family, I know that it can be done; I hope as you listen to today’s episode you gain some ideas and some hope in moving from nuggets and fries to other great and yummy foods out in the world!
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/059 for my story about helping one picky eater become… well, less picky!
My forthcoming book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, is for you if you need a toolbox of tools to handle every tantrum, keep your cool, and enjoy life with your young child! To get your free, printable, fridge-worthy anti-tantrum infographic, as well as to be notified immediately when the book launches in Amazon – it will be free for three short days! – go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com.