What is ‘kid’s food’? When we say ‘kid’s food,’ do we mean certain foods are only for kids? No one else gets to eat mac ‘n cheese and chicken nuggets? Or do we mean that other foods aren’t for kids? The meats and veggies and less processed starches are only for the adults and not meant for children? This is important to think about because these are the clear and unintended messages we send to kids every time we talk about ‘kids’ food.’
‘Kids’ foods’ are usually softer foods like pasta and chicken nuggets. But rather than saying these are ‘kids’ foods,’ let’s talk about them as soft foods. A lot of kids like soft foods because they’re easy to chew or because they have a mild flavor or because it’s what they’re used to.
We have to talk to kids to understand why they are picking the foods they’re picking. There are so many different diets and so many reasons people eat the foods they do. Not liking a food is ok, but let’s talk about the reasons. And talk about the reasons your children like the foods they like, too. If they don’t like mushy foods, but like crunchy foods, you can definitely expand on that!
This is loosely the idea of food chaining.You can expand on textures, tastes, anything your child likes about a food and start introducing new foods with those characteristics. It’s not a quick fix, but it is a great way to keep experiences with food positive as you slowly teach your picky eater about new foods.
Let’s agree that ‘kids’ food’ is not nearly descriptive enough to explain to kids why people eat what they eat. Everyone has a specific diet that we eat for our own specific reasons. It’s kind of fascinating!
So help your kids learn about foods, what they like, what they don’t, and what’s out there to try! Get them involved in grocery shopping, making a meal, or pick an activity from this site and talk about food. People food.
Happy food play!