Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cut me some Flax...

J Bean loves yogurt with flax seed mixed in as part of her breakfast. VeeVee came up with this tradition, they eat it together on the couch every morning... nothing short of genius in the marketing here. J Bean also digs on edamame (thanks mostly to the single packs of shelled beans with Dora the Explorer on the bags), she enjoys raisins (I believe it has more to do with the interesting little boxes than the taste), and she loves granola and even couscous on occasion... these last two are favorites which may sprout from having interesting sounding names (she pronounces couscous perfectly and settles for "Nola" for the crunchy stuff).
I'm not saying this to boast about J Bean's diet, we are far from perfect and she is more likely to beg for "roni" and cheese or screech for "finch fies" if she spots the golden arches out the window, but we do try. I'm very pleased that we are able to get J Bean to take interest in a large number of healthy foods with our different approaches:
  1. Name-Calling: We name healthy foods after other things we know she enjoys. "Chips" has grown to include all manner of crunchy snacks including dried vegetable and fruit slices.
  2. Dressing it up: Coating items with cheese, sauces, yogurt and even honey on occasion. These toppings help get us over the hurdles of food that is new or something that is just being refused.
  3. Showmanship:  As the post mentions above, we use this method in many different ways. It's all in presentation, excitement, and utensils. We find that J Bean will eat some things she has previously refused just because we give her a big spoon, a new fork or even a toothpick to eat it with. Of course, every parent knows that excitement about food is effective, but you have to be genuine about it too. If I oversell some food, J Bean will quickly lose interest.
Any one else have some ideas to share? I know that healthy eating will serve J Bean well into her adulthood if we get her started now, so it is music to my ears when J Bean comes into the kitchen to ask me for "gogurt, flasseed and booberries".... Sure thing kiddo, here you go!

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