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Friday, November 9, 2012

Guest Post - Teaching an Appreciation for Food

Today, I'm lucky enough to have a guest post from Jack Meyer on food appreciation in little ones.


Being raised as a young child in the 1960s, at least the world I grew up in was a gastronomical adventure for my not so discerning palate. My mother would go to a party and come home with some very interesting culinary ideas. I remember the fondue years; we had all the latest fondue equipment and there wasn’t anything we didn’t fondue. Then there were the Hawaiian Luau parties she would go to with dad, we actually buried a pig in the yard, which I remember disturbed me greatly. It was a tasty pig though, I must say. Ahh, memories!

Mom was a very “hands on” kind of mother; from as far back as I can remember I was seated up
on the kitchen cabinet to observe the preparation of mom’s latest and greatest culinary creation.
Among my mom’s many talents in the kitchen, she was an expert in the art of pie making.

To this day I don’t know anyone who can whip up the perfect pie crust with exactly the right
flakiness and texture that my mom can. (She always includes the tastiest little cinnamon rolls with the
leftover dough when she’s done…all I can say is YUM!) She still has her grandmother’s wooden
bowl that she makes the crust in, just as she was taught by her grandmother and her mother
before her. I watched from the time I was around four years old, and then as a much older child of
perhaps nine or ten was given my chance to create the perfect pie crust. Hard as I might try over
the years my pie crusts do not come out like my dear mothers. Sadly this talent somehow skipped
a generation. Not all is lost however because my daughter can whip up a great pie crust.

There are many different ways to include your children in exploring new dishes and old favorites.
Not only does it give them a wide range of choices for their future eating pleasure but also opens
up the walls to different cultures. I will list just a few ideas for including your children in your
love for food.

1. Start early - begin when they are young and still interested in everything you do. All
young children love to be a part of what you are doing. While you are cooking engage
them in what you are doing, share cooking terms and how-to’s with them. Let them do
the easier tasks like fetching things you need for the recipe at hand. This will also teach
them the names of many things in the kitchen.

2. Try Everything! Always get them to try different foods. When they are old enough let
them try a bit of everything you are eating, if they don’t like it the first time that doesn’t
mean they won’t like it in the future. I know growing up there were certain things I didn’t
care for that I like now. I also remember when my daughter was young; she started out
a picky eater. On trips we had to carry cans of green beans, black olives, and beets with
us as we traveled. The only other things she liked were chicken legs and corn on the cob.
She didn’t like fast food, go figure. She grew out of that phase and has branched out
beautifully, including many things in her diet, as well as an occasional hamburger!

3. Include them in all aspects of food preparation – as they age, give them more
responsibilities in the kitchen. Include them in the planning of meals as well as the
shopping. Read cookbooks together. I remember sitting with both my grandmother and
mother reading recipes from cookbooks, I now do it with my daughter. Trying to decide
if the recipe sounds good to us and thinking about what we could add or take away that
would make it even better. Sometimes we just have to run in the kitchen and try them out
right away! Some of our experiments are great and some are not so great, but the process
is a lot of fun and we always learn something.

We often laugh over past dishes that did not turn out as expected, as well as ooh and awe over the dishes that won us fame in the extended family. So my advice to anyone who loves cooking, who enjoys well prepared foods, and sharing with family and friends is to get your children involved early on and make it a memorable and happy experience. You won’t regret it!

Author Bio:

Jack Meyer is a regular contributor for As a detective
he wants to spread the knowledge of terrible things that can happen when people don’t fully
verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement
blogs and sites.


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