The Good Eater

Dec 6, 2008 by

“He’s a good eater,” I hear parents say. A father once told me that his child “did great with the food” on a trip to Europe. “She’s not bad about trying new vegetables.” “Good job! You ate it all.” Extra points for cleaning the plate.

Do these evaluations suggest that eating good food is a satisfying delight or that it’s a praiseworthy act of self-denial? The body is created to crave and enjoy the food it needs, as the mind is made to go after knowledge. Because of children’s genuine need for nourishment, both mental and physical, we have only to give them opportunities to naturally treasure what’s good for them.

If we don’t enjoy what’s good for us more than what’s bad, something’s wrong. As Aristotle asserts, the point of education is to learn to take pleasure in good things. What happens when something…

read more