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Aug 23, 2008 09:50 AM

Chow milestones w your kids

My 10 year old son and I went to Rockport, MA and had lunch at Roy Moore's Lobster Company, something we've been doing for many years. We have always shared a lobster but, this summer, his appetite demands his own lobster. He not only got his own lobster, he cracked it and got the meat out himself. My little boy is growing up!

Earlier in the week, we stopped at a farm for corn. He walked around and came back with one gorgeous bok choy and a purple bell pepper, asking if we could buy them. Absolutely!

You try to cook good food and expose your kids to a variety of foods, hoping it will take root.

What milestones do you remember about your kids and food?

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  1. Both of my sons were hounds from Day One. I, too, experienced the "I want my own lobster" meal and reeled from sticker shock while relishing the thought that they were open to great food experiences for their lives. Sure PB&J is cheaper but knowing they want to eat soft shell crabs, artichokes and avocadoes at a young age brought me joy.

    My most memorable "Ah-Ha" moment involves a heretofore Meat and Potatoes DIL. Anything adventurous or unfamiliar moved around her plate and our dogs were her (under table) constant dining companion. She ate at McD's after dinner at our house on more than one occasion. Although an avid fisherwoman, she wouldn't eat fish....... that is until a trip to Puerta Vallarta. The joys of FRESH fish, grilled on the beach, woke her to tastes she'd never experienced and marked the beginning of a Chow journey that warms my heart every time I think about it. Last week, they were in Hawaii and she called to recount "Butterfish is the best fish I ever ate" and to tell me about a sashimi meal that she adored.

    I'm smiling as I write this, knowing that her journey from plain to adventurous eater is just beginning and has so many wonderful tastes in store for this special woman.

    Edit: this may be slightly off topic since you asked for milestones with kids ....... but since she's married to one of my kids, I gave myself permission.

    1. After enduring a very picky first child who is now 20 and still picky, I was shocked and overjoyed to find that I had an adventurous eater with my middle son. Sushi at age 3, raw oysters at age 4, no problem. Said child is now almost 17 and continues to expand his horizons. If it looks and smells good he will try it. Definitely prefers ethnic cuisines to the standard plain meat and potatoes diet that his older brother sticks with.

      1. My daughter will be five in a month. She has recently eaten more spicy foods (small amounts of really spicy), understands that she has to first eat something healthy in the morning--e.g., sliced banana & homemade yogurt or granola and milk--before moving on to something like rice or pasta with carrot or lentil soup. She knows the concept of junk food ("comida chatarra") and just made a move from slightly sweetened orange juice (in 1 liter UHT boxes) to fresh squeezed. Her snacks tend to be raisins and (my) bread. She likes sushi with unagi (but then, who doesn't?). I don't have soft drinks, processed or junk food, in the house. She got a bit of those in her nursery school--so isn't some hippy luddite's daughter. Another (switch off HERE if you want to avoid political incorrectness) is that she and I exchange snide remarks when we encounter mis-behaved, fat, and/or mis-behaved fat kids in the supermarket.

        1. Mom of 4 with a wide range of eating habits, all of which continue to change, even as I write this. Oldest is a restaurant owner and was a fantastic chowhound from birth, 2nd child had an issue with how food feels (like his father) and it took years to get over that aversion but today he works for his older sib. My younger kids are food players and I have found that when I keep food FUN they are more adventureous. Of course not everyone delights in our food play but during the elem school years my kitchen was very popular with the kids and their friends. I don't mind a mess as long as play includes clean up. So, I'm surviving the chowhound mis-adventures and encourage, encourage, encourage that my kids give everything a try before saying NO. Truth be told, that rule applies to me too :)

          Milestones include the first time my 2nd child ate broccoli. He had to drown it in ranch dressing but it went down his throat and we all cheered.

          Taking the kids to pick your own farms and food festivals opened their eyes and today they all love to garden.

          Being good guests at other people's homes was important to me. If someone serves you a meal, be gracious.

          Going food shopping with my kids and letting them pick a few "new" items encouraged them to try new foods.

          three of us, there is hope and you're on the right track!

          2 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            You made me think of my dad, Hillj. He always played with food, juggled dinner plates (he only broke them twice in my memory!), and always accepted dares to throw small items of food over and through the blades of our whirring kitchen ceiling fan (I don't recommend cherry tomatoes when there are guests present wearing white angora sweaters).

            That said, his pet hates were children knocking over their drinks, and children who kept waiters waiting in restaurants with menu indecisiveness (the former was sometime me; the latter always was!). We knew when it was fine to play, and when we had to behave.

            And above all, his patent enjoyment of food taught us that food was to be savoured. I hope to pass that on to my kids one day. Maybe minus the plate juggling.

            1. re: Gooseberry

              Don't ever (wink) under estimate the power of food play, plate juggling included! Without fun & humor I would have aged beyond my years as a parent. Thanks for sharing your memory!

          2. My son is a very conservative eater, but lately there have been a few milestones. Significantly, they were when he was out on his own -- once when his math teacher took the math team out for a celebratory lunch at an Indian restaurant and another time when his English teacher took the class out for dim sum. On both occasions he ate food that was new to him -- and enjoyed himself! Peer pressure may have entered in to it, but that's okay with me. I'm just glad that he'll try new things, even if it's when I'm not around.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Glencora

              Our youngest turns 19 tomorrow (Out to Tidal Falls Lobster Pound.), but when he was 10 , we had just finished a Norwegian frukostbord (a breakfast smorgosbord w/ several styles of herring.) and he declared, unprompted, "I think I'm becoming a herring gourmet."

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                This made me laugh. A fine skill, indeed!