|Put a face on it|
I've learned to feed my kids with the rule of three--put at least three choices on their plate and they're bound to fill their bellies. It doesn't matter how main course the main course is, if there isn't a fruit and veggie option to go with the pizza, it isn't lunch. That said, I've been pretty lucky with the foods my kids have tried, and often to my surprise, like to chomp.
Some of the best child feeding advice I've ever gotten I gleaned from random essays around the internet. "My nanny puts out a plate of fresh vegetables twenty minutes before it's time to eat," read one article. This seemed reasonable to me. I'm not too worried about my girls loosing their appetites on carrot sticks and cauliflower florets, though I'm not often so forward thinking as to pile up a veggie plate before every meal. Instead, when the kids come skulking about the kitchen looking for bites, I hand them whatever veggies I have prepped on the cutting board--broccoli trees and black olive finger puppets. Red pepper ribbons. Cucumber O's.
There are things I never thought the girls would eat that have become, instead, hunger fail-safes: chick peas in a monkey dish, cashews on the side, radishes a la carte.
The hardest thing I had to learn about feeding the minis was to go against my own upbringing and not push the food Clean Your Plate style or to demand they eat something they just don't like. The rule of the house is to try one bite of everything, and decide from there. In time, they've opened their food noshing mouths to the likes of spinach crepes, and palak paneer, grilled asparagus, and potato leek soup. That to me is a pretty good start.
Do you have any favorite tricks for feeding kids or quick and easy recipes? What are your culinary fail-safes?