A Family's Adventure with Food

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Faith Moser is the creator of eco ike {organic baby t’s + cookbooks full of yummy, healthy and quick recipes for kids and grown-ups}! If you want your kids to grow, live, eat & play green, visit ecoike.com.

I love food. Next to friends and family, it is my favorite thing in the world. For me, it is a source of joy, pleasure and excitement.  Finding the first round of fresh rhubarb or making a dish that is so delicious that I have to sneak spoonful after spoonful until the meal is served, or combining ingredients for an exciting new dish (have you tried pumpkin and chocolate together? Scrumptious!). That was, until I had my second child. Food has taken on a new meaning, and the act of creating meals for him has been laced with a little dread, apprehension and wait-and-see-moments. My mouthwateringly delicious mashed potato recipe gets the snub (How can that be? It’s just the inside of a French fry!). Painstakingly tedious dishes are met with disdain and completely overlooked. What is a foody mom to do? Succumb to macaroni and cheese until they are home from college? I don’t have the answers, just the questions. 

As a mom that cares about eating local, organic and fresh foods high in nutritional value, it truly can be a challenge. I am a big believer that we are what we eat and that we get our vitamins from the food we eat. So it isn’t easy for me to watch him pass over my dinner options night after night.

Meals with younger kids can sometimes be a complex situation. Wise parents have suggested including children in the cooking process. My four-year-old son absolutely adores helping me cook and bake, but it doesn’t alwaysmean that he is going to happily eat everything he just prepared (sometimes churning the food mill is just way more fun than eating the applesauce!). I also take my kids to farmer’s markets, always being sure to point out the new additions and gorgeous colors, shapes, textures and tastes–and they love the experience, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to a clean plate at dinnertime. Some parents and experts suggest “sneaking” foods into dishes, while others say not to “sneak” foods and that the only way they will grow to love certain foods is to be mindful of what they are eating. They are all great ideas (and parents should try them!), but I haven’t seen a direct link to my food-awareness-actions and my children’s eating (but I am not giving up!). 

Next idea to implement is to serve them the healthiest foods first, in hopes that the hungrier they are, the more likely they will eat what is in front of them. I also need to relax more at meal time. Food and our kids’ relationship with food is just another part of being a parent. Patience is key (when isn’t it?). I will continue to eat the foods that I love and hope that they will eventually develop a passion for good food like I did. Stay tuned!   

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