Contribution by Dr. Lachman
Toddlers are very gross motor oriented - finger foods are a popular choice & they love to dip their foods. Cut veggies in stick like shapes. Many of the root vegetables, besides your standard potato, are delicious roasted or grilled. Slice them in the shape of french fries, toss them with a little olive oil & grill them or roast them in the oven. Some catsup or ranch dressing on the side may help too.
Preschool to early school age children are the midst of the age of imagination. While it is not always easy to take a step back at the end of a busy day, if you can incorporate pretend play into mealtime, the meal may pass a lot faster and easier. Similar to Popeye & spinach, it’s not cauliflower, it’s “cauli-power” & act it out; “boom, wow, look at my muscles!” Fairy princess peas and speed racer green beans may join the ranks as well.
Growing some fruits or vegetables either in your back yard or in some pots in your home is a great strategy for your school age child. The farmer’s market is always a great alternative too. That conversation with the tomato lady with a sample to try may make a tomato lover out of your child. Being closer to the source gives it so much more meaning, not to mention how delicious the produce is, and we have several markets to choose from in Bend.
For the older school age child, there are several outstanding summer camps offering cooking classes now. Helping to plan and prepare meals at home can help get your older one engaged in healthy eating.
Dr. Valerie Bailie
Board Certified Pediatrician
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