My friend Heidi blogged an excellent piece called: On Picky Eaters: How to Develop a Sense of Food Adventure.
I immediately emailed her and asked her if I could link to it. It’s like Heidi did my work for me today (which is lucky, since I’m still overwhelmed with unpacking boxes in my new house!); I couldn’t agree with her more, and am pleased that she agreed to let me share this article with you. Her family feeding guide is a great addition to my other kid-and-food related stuff.
Practices at my house are very similar to Heidi’s, although we are big-time snackers here. My 4.5 year old is very sensitive to blood sugar fluctuations, so I make sure she has a nibble of something every couple of hours. My husband and I also prefer to eat 4-5 small meals rather than 3 bigger ones.
I often use snack time to introduce new foods. I very much dislike quibbling over “I don’t like this!” at family meal times, and I’m much more relaxed during snack time. Snacks are predominately fruit and veggie based, with some kind of protein to complement and stick to the ribs. For example, our standby snacks are carrots dipped in almond butter, celery with pb and blueberries (a la “ants on a log”), a hard boiled egg and a couple sheets of Nori, a tiny bowl of berries and a tiny bowl of kidney beans, hummus and sugar snap peas, or kiwi fruit and dry roasted cashews.
To add to Heidi’s notes about introducing new foods gently, I have found this article about the research supporting the “Taste it and spit it out if you don’t like it” approach really helpful. (Incidentally, there is a lot of valuable reading material on the “It’s Not About Nutrition” blog.)