things we learn from children. And Iíve had quite an
education this week while babysitting my 2-year-old
granddaughter and 10-month-old grandson. Sitting at the table
for lunch one day, Frances patiently ate her turkey sandwich
and berries while I shoveled baby meat and vegetables into her
she said, "I dropped a strawberry on the floor."
get it for you, I said, as I bent down to pick it up.
Grammy," she said, "youíre a good helper."
good kids need appropriate boundaries, Iíve been reminded.
Open-ended questions like "What pajamas do you want to
wear?" donít really work with 2-year olds. And donít
ask her what she wants for dinner, unless you are particularly
fond of eggs and toast every night.
are good at giving signals of what they really need, however.
Pay attention and respect what they tell you. For instance,
when baby Logan gets cranky, he is either hungry, or tired, or
both. And while heís being fed, you know heís satisfied
when he adamantly closes his mouth and turns his head away.
other toddlers, Frances is old enough to sit at the table and
feed herself. And sheís a pretty good judge of when she has
eaten enough. It warms my heart, too, when she finishes her
meal and says, "Sícuse, please."
learn to like certain foods when they are exposed to them on
repeated occasions, say nutrition experts. I carried a bag of
baby carrots outside to make a nose for Frosty, the snowman
Frances and I had created. Interesting that she wanted to
continue nibbling on them when we came back into the house.
2-year old, Frances is no stranger to trying new foods. A
friend left a pan of homemade enchiladas and I warmed them for
dinner one evening. I suspected they would be too spicy for my
young granddaughter; but she stabbed a piece with her
toddler-size fork and took a bite. After a moment she said,
"Itís ĖĖ itís ĖĖ tasty!"
wrong, our children learn from what we do more than what we
say, Iíve also been reminded this week. Sliced apple snacks
are just as good for me as they are for Frances. And we all
thrive on physical activity. One evening, Grammy was winding
down after a dance-a-thon to the music of Frozen. Frances
began to gallop around and around and around the living room.
And while her captivated brother looked on, she giggled and
said, "Come on, Wogan! Itís fun to run!"
fun but feeding them is serious stuff. These early years lay
the foundation for a childís future health and well-being,
says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Frances drinks
milk at meals, for example, not juice or soda. And she is
expected to sit at the table for each of her meals and snacks;
no grazing allowed.
night, after recognizing my granddaughterís great patience
with her baby brother, I told her she was a really good kid.
"Iím not a kid," she corrected me. "Iím a