- Published: March 13, 2016
Children are natural skeptics. They approach new foods “with trepidation”. Their aversion is based mostly on trust not taste. The more familiar they are with the food, the more likely they are to try it.
Introducing new foods to a child can get expensive. By chance, our family happened on a way to keep this cost down. As a baby, my son didn’t use a high chair. He sat on my lap during meals, and we shared a plate. Up close and personal he learned the foods that I liked. He listened as I crunched on my vegetables. He’d lean in and take in the aroma of my meal. To my surprise, I learned he was more likely to try something new if the morsel was on the way to my month. He’d steal it right off my fork.
So here is what I recommend: Don’t fix children their own plate. Let them eat off of yours. They overcome their distrust by witnessing us eat. If we are patient, our willingness will reassure them and they will join in the meal.
I am fortunate in this strategy in that I love food. I’m not likely to turn up my nose or bad mouth a meal. Rather I’m demonstrate my enjoyment readily, happily humming through my meal.
Of all foods, vegetables get a bad rap. We need to be particularly patient and mindful about being positive with vegetables. We are not only overcoming our child’s natural distrust but the programmed aversion of an entire culture.
Algebra gets as a bad rap as vegetables. And because of that rap we find the same hidden cost in introducing new math skills to children as we find in introducing new vegetables. We have to make the same investments in overcoming trust barriers and cultural stigma. We keep the cost down of introducing math to our children by exposing them to it early, often, and keeping our reinforcements positive.
This week, I took one step forward toward starting a business. I put together my first exhibition booth with a lot of help from my friends—Unfinished Creations, Mr. Fub’s Toy Store, Downing’s Hardware Store, The Atomic Fox, Blue Jacket Bookstore, and our local schools.