enjoying those grandkids," my friend wrote after my
recent move. "Let them know who is in charge…they
terms of food, they certainly are. What happened, for
example, to my sweet little darling who used to exclaim,
"I wike cucumbers!" ? Now independently three
years old, she looks for any signs of green in her food and
announces, "I don’t wike that."
child, how can this be? Your grandmother is a registered
dietitian nutritionist, trained in the intricacies of
feeding children healthy food. And your parents are wise in
the ways of nourishing kids as well.
grandson is another story. At 18 months, he has two
channels: "I want to eat NOW" and "Here’s
the plate back, I’m done."
with these kids? They’re normal, say child nutrition
experts. Children become competent eaters the old fashioned
way. They practice. And every child develops eating habits
at a different pace. Somewhere around two years of age, for
instance, a child will be able to use a spoon and drink from
a cup. He will also begin to develop likes and dislikes.
Between the ages of two and three, many children may
suddenly begin to refuse certain foods. How do we take this
normal behavior and run with it? Ahhh, that is the wisdom of
in nutritionally dense foods. My granddaughter loves beans
and cheese "enchiwadas," for example. Beans like
pinto, black and red beans are the hidden vegetables on her
plate…and they’re not green. And thankfully, even in a
restaurant, she and her brother actually prefer milk — one
of nature’s most nutritionally dense foods.
that snacks count, too. When Frances noticed how my horse,
Cal, smacked down the fresh apple I pulled from a bag, she
announced, "Can I have one too? I wike apples!"
Logan happened to be hungry at the time, too. Score! You
know what they say; if you’re not hungry for an apple, you’re
not really hungry.
them imitate cooking. Three year-olds love to play in the
kitchen. One day, with our aprons on and Frances standing
beside me on a stool, we carefully followed the recipe for a
chicken (and vegetable) dish. "What’s the next
item?" she would ask as we measured and chopped and
stirred. She’s going to love this! I thought smugly to
myself. She was even enthusiastic when we served up our
creation in pretty bowls for a picnic in the backyard. Then,
when it came to eating this delicious dish…let’s just
say that Logan and I had a nice lunch. And Frances drank her
give up. Wise parents and grandparents are there for the
long haul. And for these dear ones, it’s totally worth the