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Ending Dinner on a Sweet Note

Do your kids have dessert every night?  Is it a regular part of your mealtime – or only done as a special treat?  What is your feeling on this?  Is it better when it is thought of as “no big deal” instead of a hugely sought after treat that only occurs on special occasions?  And how is this shaping our children’s eating habits – now and in the future?

I grew up in a household that had dessert every night.  My mom is of the generation that regularly baked homemade pies, cakes, etc. and served them after supper each night.  That lessened to a great degree after I was born, but we still had ice cream or pudding or SOMETHING to cleanse our palate. 

My mom is all about moderation.  She would have a sliver of pie or a small (tiny by today’s standards) bowl of ice cream.  Just enough to end the meal on a sweet note.  She is …

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6 Food Mistakes Parents Make

Two weeks ago an article on the New York Times website caught my eye, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since. 6 Food Mistakes Parents Make” lists common sense food errors parents make when trying to get kids to eat healthy.  Are these really “mistakes” we make with our kids?  Are you guilty of any (or most – like me)?  With a laissez-faire attitude, do kids eventually branch out and become less fussy?  Or, do healthy habits need to be diligently developed?

It is not just Ms. Parker-Pope’s article that talks about involving kids in the actual cooking process.  Experts agree that children who participate in the preparing of the meals are for the most part more interested in eating those meals.  Keeping kids out of the kitchen is not something I try to arrange.  Yet most nights I find myself cooking alone.  Oh, I have helpers when I make homemade pizza (thanks …

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Lunch time Blues

My son has a lunch date today – with his former 1st Grade teacher.  He has been looking forward to it all week.  I have been dreading it (as only a mother of an active member of the Picky Eaters of America club would do).

He missed the pizza party last week, for the students that completed those thick packets she handled out at the end of last year.  My son had an incentive to work hard during the summer, doing so many workbook pages per day, so that he could join her for this pizza party once the new school year started.  Then, wouldn’t you know it, the party was scheduled for last Friday – when we were to be out of town. Sweet teacher that she is, she told him they could have lunch together THIS week – just the two of them (!!!) and she would bring the dessert.  My son is thrilled; I been worrying about …

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Starting a *Foods They Will Eat* List

Making a list, checking it twice….not such a bad idea. Thanks to some good comments I received last week, I’m thinking of doing just that as I attempt to tackle this picky eating situation.  I remember a good friend of mine in LA did the same thing; she had a piece of construction paper posted on her fridge and on it were all the foods her son would eat.  Each time he tried and liked something new, it got added to the list.  His list got fairly long as I recall…I was pretty impressed. 

Another added plus of the list:  it helps you think of things to make for dinner.  Sometimes we get in a rut of only making a few different things for our kids (the no-brainer items that we’re sure they’ll eat without too much of a fuss – because, after all it’s the end of the day and who has the energy to deal with a big …

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The Best Parenting Advice I Didn’t Take

They came to family dinners and had to eat separate meals — primarily pasta, one of the most kid-friendly foods in the world.  My mother would tisk that children in HER day ate what they were served and wouldn’t they just like to try some _____ (fill in the blank:  meatloaf, turkey, ham, vegetables, basically anything the rest of us were eating).  I told myself I would NEVER do that when I was a parent.  And now I find myself staring in the faces of two extremely picky eaters, who NEVER eat what the grown-ups eat – unless of course the grown-ups are eating pasta.  This must be karma’s wicked sense of humor. 

I was even warned ahead of time by my very best friend and one of the smartest mothers I know.  Don’t get in the habit of feeding your kids separate meals.  Let’s call that some of the best parenting advice I got and didn’t follow.  Shame on …

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Eating Habits of a 4-year old

Ever had a routine question thrown at you that made you stop and pause?  An innocently asked question to merely gain information, with no intent of questioning your parenting, but through which you realize you have one messed-up situation on your hands?

“So then, what DOES she eat for lunch?”  There is is – the million dollar question that has thrown me into a tailspin.  The head of my Little One’s new preschool simply asking me what my daughter usually eats for lunch, since she’s been there at preschool camp for three days now and has yet to find a meal to her liking. 

You know it is a doozy of a question when you start stammering, “Uh…uh…well uh, apples and peanut butter….uh…”  But peanut butter isn’t something they can serve and yes, she tells me, she knows my Little One likes fruit – it’s been the only thing she has nibbled off her plate.  “What she does eat for …

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