We kids feared many things in those days – werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School – but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts. ~ Dave Barry
This post may not be heading where you think it is. When we were in the market recently my girls had half the frozen food aisle in complete laughter when they screamed, “Mom, will you PLEEAASSEEE buy us brussels sprouts?” Yes, you read that correctly. My girls BEG for brussels sprouts (and I do not even cook them that well). They also love artichoke, kale chips, and plain seaweed (sushi is another favorite). I realize that part of the reason they are willing to eat many things is because we have a healthier perspective in our home. There is not a lot of junk food in our home, though we do not ban it – so there is no feelings of deprivation.
We work hard to keep a food balance and I try to expose the girls to many different foods and flavors from all around the world, be it Ethiopian food, Italian Pesto, or Moroccan soup. As I model adventurous eating, it gives them the courage to be adventurous too! My oldest even tried octopus soup!
We have always praised our girls for their willingness to try new foods and we do not force foods down their throat – well, at least not often!
I think it is important to work with children and food choices as early as possible, as if they are finicky eaters this can create many problems into adulthood. What many people are not aware of is the fact that both speech therapists and occupational therapists will work with children with aversions to certain foods/ food textures/ etc. I have seen many young people make great strides with food when they have worked with their parents and supportive professionals.
Today, 29 days ’til 40, I am thankful that my girls ask for brussels sprouts – I hope it continues!