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May 28, 2010 10:05 AM

Giada at home

This lady had a birthday party for her 1 year old, I thought her menu was way to sophisticated for a 1 year old. I know she said parents would eat this stuff but she kept saying how her daughter loved basil, onion, bowtie pasta salad, etc. I think she makes up this stuff.

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    1. I wouldn't be so sure. I feel very lucky about my son (now 10), who will eat virtually anything. He was that way his first few years of life--avocado is the only thing he seemed not to like. Around 5 years of age, he went through a year where he got a bit pickier, but he was still better than most kids. But he resumed eating things with an experimental attitude.

      The list would be too long to go into here, but it includes all kinds of ethnic cuisines (helps to moderate the spicy-hot), artichokes, sashimi, snails (Korean or French style), frog legs, rabbit paella. We even tried chicken feet at a Chinese restaurant, but we couldn't really grasp exactly how they're to be enjoyed. Not to paint too rosy a picture, he is not keen on some things, like raw onions in a burger or sandwich.

      In his case, I think it helps that he sees new things being made around the house all the time, and he gets involved in the making at times. But it also seems likely that kids just come with different temperaments. I bet if I'd had another kid, that one might well have been super-picky, even growing up in the same household.

      p.s., I'll update my post to say that, in fact, I wouldn't menu plan a child's birthday party in a super-"adventurous" way, because several of the child guests are likely to be picky. But I do think most kids would like bowtie pasta and even basil when properly presented.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bada Bing

        Kids whose parents are adventurous, good cooks and are given a wide choice of foods to try, as opposed to chicken fingers and french fries, are more likely to be adventurous, open-minded diners later on. Chinese kids grow up on Chinese food, Mexican kids are raised on Mexican food, Thai kids eat Thai food eary on, et cetera. If there's no health-related reason, like in the case of botulism in honey or a choking hazard, there's no reason to exclude any food. Except that in the US most people seem to think that young children will die if fed spicy foods for some damn reason, so the children freak out when tasting something new and interesting because they've never had anything new and interesting before.

        And if you were Giada you'd be sure to give your kids a lot of variety in their meals. You think Mario Batali's kids eat nothing but fish sticks out of a frozen box and canned peas? I don't.

      2. "I think she makes up this stuff."

        And, if Giada did, your problem with this would be ... what?

        7 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          No problem, I just don't know many children who eat all this stuff at age 1 and wrote something on my mind, which I thought I am allowed to do. Next time I will ask for your permission.

          1. re: dolly52

            Hello, Dolly! (I couldn't resist):

            Please don't take the responses here as an effort to say you should not say what's on your mind. But do try to accept that your message essentially asked us all to agree (or disagree) that Giada's picture of what a child might eat is a marketing ploy and a lie. If you'd even said something like, "Can she really be for real?" then the replies would have been very different.

            FWIW: I am convinced that much (but not all) of what children think about food comes from environment and has to do with psychology and sense of safety. Whatever seems "everyday" is okay, and whatever seems different can alarm some of them.

            1. re: Bada Bing

              Ditto what Bada said.

              dolly52, I hope you don't take my reply personally. But you made the statement that you believe Giada was making stuff up -- not about her cooking (which would be important) but about something tertiary (which in the grand scheme of things would be trivial).

              Given that it was something (i.e. what her kids eat) that did not affect the instruction or knowledge she was trying to impart in her cooking show, it begs the question why it matters.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                "FWIW: I am convinced that much (but not all) of what children think about food comes from environment and has to do with psychology and sense of safety. Whatever seems "everyday" is okay, and whatever seems different can alarm some of them"

                I would love to believe this but it just doesn't explain for example my sister's kids. Firstborn girl would only eat spaghetti 'O's, hamburgers and corn til she was 12, now she's 35 but is still quite unadventurous. Along comes the boy 9 years later and was and still is the most amazing kid..all raw veggies, shellfish, ethnic, name it he ate it. He never went thru a picky stage either. So, same family, kitchen techniques, recipes, same cook (my sis) yet 2 kids diametrically opposed when it comes to eating habits. How is environment involved? I'm truly interested as I don't have kids and have never understood why these siblings are so different from one another.

                1. re: alidrum

                  I agree that there's no predicting these things. One environmental factor, though, is that siblings sometimes seem to fall into differentiated roles (the sporty one, the good student, the caring one, etc.) Anyway, you're right: most families that I know with a picky eating kid have just one kid who is especially that way, rather than all the kids being the same.

                  1. re: alidrum

                    Some people are just pickier than others, but there probably are some environmental explanations for the differences between you niece and nephew. Nine years is quite an age difference. Your sister raised them both, but I doubt her parenting and cooking techniques were identical for both kids. Even subtle changes can lead to big differences.

                    1. re: alidrum

                      The sibs are 9 years apart? Then it's hardly the same family. My sib and I are 8 years apart, as well as lightyears in many of our likes/ dislikes/ personality/ character traits, etc.

                      Our parents were at different stages of their lives when raising us. Including my mom cooked a lot more when I was young, because she had the time. When my sib was young, mom was working more and we were buying more store-bought.

                      In other words, just because it's the same family, doesn't mean it's the "same" family.

              2. I don't understand why it is bad to make sophisticated food for mostly adult guests. I don't have children and have no idea what they eat at 1 years old but why wouldn't she enjoy the flavors of basil and onion?

                1. I'm reminded of the birthday party episode of Posh Nosh:

                  "I can just hear them saying, mummy, can I have another Roquefort, prosciutto, and fennel bruschetta?"

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Boswell

                    That video is beyond hilarious...