I haven’t been posting recipes and meal plans because I’m saving it all for Fearless Feeding. Jill and I are in the process of testing recipes/meal ideas while we are in the homestretch. Over a month to go until we turn in the manuscript!!
So I wanted to take some time to get some feedback about what irks you when it comes to recipes and cookbooks. This is your time to vent! But let me go first…
I get most of my recipes online but use some of my favorite cookbooks from time to time. I’m not a foodie or someone has been cooking since I was a kid (or young adult), so I often find recipes touted as “easy” don’t always have the simple cook in mind. I like simple meal ideas that find tasty ways to include nutritious foods. If I can make something with fewer ingredients, I prefer to do so, even though I have a few complicated dishes.
I make less recipe mistakes these days because I’m getting better at choosing meals that mesh with my cooking style and family’s food preferences. I also feel comfortable adapting those recipes so they work better for me.
So what drives you crazy about recipes and cookbooks? What type of meal ideas are you looking for? Do you feel like you’re getting what you need?
News on the home front
Big A, who is 5 and a half, had one week where she added three new foods. Those of you with cautious eaters know that is a big deal. She ate her first real portion of fish (trout) and even said “delicious.” In the same week she also started digging my homemade granola bars and will now eat turkey meatballs. When I’m preparing something in the kitchen and place a bite or two on a plate to try — she now tries it!
The other day we were at a party and she was playing. I asked if she wanted me to make her plate or if she wanted to go with me and she said, “I’ll eat whatever they have.” I could tell she was more confident instead of asking if everything would taste the same.
I can really see the benefits of having been followed the Division of Responsibility. I know it can be hard for parents to not pressure when they see their young child refusing healthy fare. And there’s nothing wrong trying different (positive) strategies to encourage tastings. But knowing your child’s personality and how they perceive your actions is key. Research shows that while parents say they don’t pressure or force their kids to eat, the kids see it differently. And that’s all that matters.
I know many parents believe their children will not push themselves along food acceptance unless they do something. And in certain kids with feeding issues, professional help may be needed to get there. But normally developing kids will and I’m going to tell you why.
An interesting research study was published in this month’s Appetite on this very topic. It showed that eating enjoyment and picky eating were inversely, related meaning kids who enjoy eating were the least picky. Now you could say that less picky eaters get less static at the table so that’s why they enjoy food while those receiving pressure had less food enjoyment. But nonetheless, enjoyment was a key factor.
This reminds me of Little D who was (and still is but is doing better) behind in speech development. I got out the books with the pictures and tried to push him to name things. He always hated it and refused — making me push more until I finally gave up. When we finally saw the speech therapist she said to simply follow his interests. When he goes to a toy, name it. He is more likely to learn more if he’s genuinely interested in something than if it feels forced.
So, yes, parents usually start pressuring at the table when a kid is a less than enthusiastic eater. But research shows this is almost always counterproductive. Kids need to enjoy the act of eating even if it doesn’t meet our expectations. If we stay the course with balanced meals and not catering they will get there. Some will just take longer than others.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments (especially about meal ideas!)