Raspberry Roulade

Lesley Holdship - Home Economist, Food Stylist & Recipe Writer

children's choice

Sun, Sep 27 2009
What is it with people's attitude towards the way children eat? I find it astonishing that many bemoan the fact that their children wont eat things or do not like things and then consequently they feed them rubbish food stuffs. I get fed up with people saying that food is wasted on children. Why is it wasted? Food education is surely like learning behaviour patterns. They learn by example. Children have way more sensitive taste buds than adults and we are told that it is important to keep presenting children with foods they are not sure of. Young people love food actually. And if you start them out in life on good food, they will enjoy a life of appreciation of great ingredients.
This way of life is so rewarding in many ways. Take them to a michelin starred restaurant, feed them mussels, amuse bouche or 80% chocolate. Give them things that you feel they have no way of eating. It may surprise you, somewhat. I think that you need to be open minded. Children are. We learn to be reserved and narrow-minded. Children have no inhibitions.
Harley loves pesto, for instance, and talking to many children, they do too. But parents proclaim their child wont like it. Too highly flavoured, too sophisticated. But in fact these decision makers don't even give them the chance to try.
I worked at a show last week where we were offering 5 salad leaves for children- and adults - to try. Well the amount of adults saying their children will not eat rocket was crazy. In fact, rocket seemed to be the leaf that children loved the most. Why do we, as adults, talk about choice and then strip our children of any. Food is all about choice. We, as individuals, perceive things so very differently to each other and children are no different. So why are children's menus the same the country over. Fish fingers, nuggets, sausages . These make me cross, along with ketchup and coke. An adult's perception is that children only like these kinds of things. Maybe they should open their eyes. Don't make an issue, just present things and see what happens!
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