The Secret Life of Kids: Are Picky Eaters Still Picky When No Grown-up’s Around to See?

Dec 18, 2009 by

I sometimes suspect that kids may be like the white people in Eddie Murphy’s classic Saturday Night Live sketch, “White Like Me.”

Murphy goes undercover, disguising himself as white, and discovers the “truth” about how wonderfully white people treat each other when blacks aren’t around.

White shop keepers are not only suddenly warm and friendly once all blacks leave the premises, but they also give away their wares for free to other whites. A cozy party with champagne for all the whites on board breaks out on the city bus as soon as the last black person gets off.

If we parents could disguise ourselves as kids, might we witness a similarly drastic shift in our youngsters’ attitudes toward all those healthy foods some of them don’t want to eat?

My daughter recently reported that when she took a liver pâté sandwich to school, a group of her…

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How to get kids to the dinner table: get an attitude

Nov 9, 2009 by

I like to say it’s never too late to change. While in theory, it’s never too late, the reality is that sometimes, for various reasons, it just is.

Whether it’s too late for you to start serving real meals and getting your kids to…

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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…

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