Pretty Food

Huh! Looking back at the last two journal entries (here and here), I am surprised by the snacks we ate. Peanut-butter/apple spiders? Veggie flowers? What gives with the “pretty” food? Trust me, that is not the direction my creativity usually takes me!

At the time of this journal, 1987, I was receiving Family Fun magazine, and it was probably Mindy or Lindsey who'd spotted the snack suggestions and were inspired to try them. I was, no doubt, just following their lead.

Which is great. Naturally, I'm all for making healthy food fun!

Having seen all sorts of parents raise all sorts of kids, I still am not sure what makes some people have a “sweet tooth” while other people crave salty snacks, or what makes some people truly excited about healthy food—the healthier, the better—and others super-picky veggie-haters. I suspect there is a lot of genetic input to these and other food-related-tendencies, but also inputs such as early feeding practices, exposure to foods in the home, adult modeling, and much more. (That's always the way of it, isn't it? It's always nature and nurture!)

One family I've known had five (count 'em, FIVE) kids, and all the kids ate nutritious foods of every variety without complaint. There were never any gooey, salty, sugary snacks or desserts hanging around the house, but instead high-quality snack foods like dry-roasted nuts and fresh fruits. Every meal had a variety of real foods—not pre-packaged, processed foods—and the expectation was that every kid would eat every food. And so they did!

Now, I know that parental expectations can only get us so far, so I would assume that none of these kids had a genetic disposition toward “pickiness,” but I also have to make it clear that this was a blended family. The kids didn't share the same two parents—and one kid was a relative who didn't have even one parent in common with the others. It's possible that good modeling, early exposure to a variety of quality foods, and high expectations would be a successful recipe for healthy eaters for most of us.

What do you think?

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