The wife seems to be generating as much mail as I am with her muffin post. Here’s a good one from reader and mother Jo-Lee:
Bravo Mrs. Pastry! With regards to the blog entry you wrote about kids and eating. My children (5 and 1) sound exactly the same as yours. I have thought about, and attempted, to sneak in “healthy” ingredients, but it usually backfires. I do much better when I eat vegetables on my own simply because I like them. I don’t offer my son any and then he wonders what he is missing out on! He now absolutely loves sushi as well as most Mexican and Chinese food. It is just a matter of growing into taste I think.
Mrs. Pastry’s response:
Thanks so much for your kind words. I never even thought about oohing and aahing over my own vegetables. (As Joe will tell you, I can’t have dinner without a green veggie on my plate.) And I’m heartened to know that your son now likes a wider variety of foods. A friend of mine, an author of a great book called What Kindergarten Teachers Know, sent me the following information that might be of help to you as well:
“My suggestion for you: Have you tried Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks for children? Our favorite is Salad People, though Pretend Soup is fun as well. (Other great books about feeding children — though not cook books — are by Ellyn Satter. I think her most recent is Your Child’s Weight, Helping Without Harming, though don’t be turned off by the title: the basic idea is that parents are responsible for providing their kids with healthy meals, but the kids are responsible for eating.)”
All the best,
Oh for the days when I still had comment fields. Should I just set up a phone call between you two? For what it’s worth though, I have a thought or two on this issue (surprised?). Namely that it seems to me that as a society we’ve become obsessed with the particulars of diet over the broader notion of a “balanced diet”. This is the impulse that’s spawned books like Deceptively Delicious which assumes that inserting a few beneficial inputs every now and again into a child’s diet is more important than teaching that child how to eat well. For a people who are supposedly thinking more and more “holistically” about eating, we’ve instead become obsessed with the minutiae of food. A few beneficial ingredients in an overall unbalanced diet are every bit as ineffectual as a few “bad” ingredients (i.e. a few trans fats or grams of HFCS) are in an overall balanced one. Our grandparents understood that all too well. How have we become so messed up in our thinking?