KinderHop is published once monthly and written by Trip Styler’s Seattle-based kid ‘n family writer, Keryn.
Foodies and taste mavens beware; you may be getting competition from the diaper set. Your kids will not only ignore fast food, they will eagerly anticipate sushi dinners and mild curries with naan. Impossible? Not if you start at the beginning and let their tastebuds do a little exploration of their own.
Priming For Foreign Foods Babies are born to be little sponges of knowledge. This isn’t limited to what you show them, it encompasses what you let them hear, taste and smell. Plus, introducing pint-sized jetsetters to a variety of flavors, you are less likely to search out the nearest burger and fries joint. Instead of sticking to the basic bland chicken and diced carrots once finger foods are introduced, prime them for foreign foods by spicing it up at home with a few herbs or a sauce your whole family enjoys.
Exploring Taste Take advantage of the one- to two-year-old stage where your child wants to eat everything you are eating. Allow them to sample anything they want from your plate, even if you are out at a restaurant. Salmon roe in Japan fascinated my son when he was 20 months old. He just had to try them. We grabbed a plate and he went to town, popping each little salty morsel in his mouth as if it were candy.
A World Of Adventurous Eating The most important thing to remember is let your child explore and set their own boundaries, which you can encourage them to push past from time to time. If they are interested in trying something you don't like, hold off on that “ick” face and ask for a small sample. If they reject it, no problem, just don’t be the road block in your child’s way to a world of adventurous eating.
*Check with your pediatrician before you venture into exotic foods with children under two as some dishes may contain allergens. **For more encouragement in raising an adventurous eater check out Hungry Monkey:A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater by Matthew Amster-Burton
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[photos by @walkingontravel]