A few weeks ago I posted a commentary on a New York Times article about children’s menus and whether or not they have a place at restaurants. While I understand both sides of this debate, I have seen firsthand that children can and will eat the same foods as their parents and would be fine ordering off of a regular menu at restaurants. It’s all about what children are exposed to and what they are taught at home and in school.
My two older nephews who are 6 1/2 and almost 4 both have advanced palates compared to most children I see. The older one is willing to try pretty much anything, including smoked salmon (which he loves) and anchovies (which he didn’t like so much), while the younger one is a total meat-head and will out-eat any adult if steak is put in front of him! Their parents model healthy eating choices and rather than being a short-order cook, my sister-in-law cooks one meal for the whole family and the kids have to eat what is served. It may not be easy at first to get kids to eat certain things, but put something in front of them enough times and don’t give them other options and they’ll eat it.
I bring up this topic because of something that made me grin from ear to ear last week. Andy and I were in Atlanta visiting family and my sister-in-law and I bought a new melon at the supermarket. We had never seen it before and we thought it would be fun to try. It was called Piel De Sapo — “frog skin melon,” also called “Christmas melon.” I never got to try it before my return to NY, but I got a message the next day from my 6 1/2 year old nephew saying, “Aunt Jessica, this melon you and my mom bought is really tasty, it’s really sweet too! I hope you try it someday! Bye, Love you!” — it made my day!! My sister-in-law later told me that he correctly identified it as looking like a watermelon on the outside and a honeydew on the inside. He and his brother loved it!
Here are a couple of pictures of the older one eating edamame on a family trip last January:
Almost 6-year old eating edamame
“Look at the edamame!”
All done!Note: Normally the boys don’t eat with headphones on, but we were away on vacation and they were being good sports eating with the adults!