What's happening in the food environment is one of my big soap box issues!!
Last week the local school had a sausage sizzle (with great sausages from the local butcher) for the cross country so I took down some platters of veggies.
The children have the opportunity to help themselves to a selection of raw carrot, cucumber, capsicum, cherry tomatoes and daikon.
What always fascinates me is how children approach food and what influences them. If I offer the platter to a group and one child enthusiastically grabs some then their friends are more likely to do so too.
If one child asks what the daikon is and wants to try it, others are more likely to follow.
I have parents who tell me they now buy daikon as their children have tried it and enjoyed it at one of these BBQ's.
I also got a lovely e-mail on Friday from a lady I worked with a few weeks ago Liz (*). She has a daughter who is a hesitant eater and two boys whose diets were becoming more restricted as she began to cater more for her daughter's limited tastes.
I always advise parents not to "dumb down" their food options to suit the selective eaters in the house. In fact I think the opposite is best. Show your child where they are heading. Offer a wide range of foods and let them know that's what they will eventually learn to eat.
As Liz began to do this she was delighted to find how wide a range of food her boys were willing to tackle. She also said that her eldest was piling way more veggies onto his plate as he was "trying to match how many were on his mother's plate".
You're probably thinking "Wow, if only all children would do this"
Although I truly believe that most do, over time, if we "set the table" correctly.
This is exciting as as parents we are in charge of the food environment in our own houses and therefore able to influence what's happening with our child around food.
Can we get our child eating more widely? Yes we can!
If you'd like to learn how to create mealtimes that support this and encourage our children eat well please sign up for the newsletter. I have a brand new mini course addressing just this and will be offering it to subscribers shortly.
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.