Children’s Foods and Thanksgiving!

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Did you know that when given a choice between plain milk and chocolate or strawberry milk, many kids will choose the healthier plain milk?  And when asked to taste plain Greek yogurt and then a sugary/ high fructose corn syrup-laden “kiddie” yogurt, many will tell you that they actually prefer the creamier, slightly-sour Greek yogurt?

I wouldn’t have believed it, until I saw it with my own eyes!

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to about 350 elementary school kids, grades K-5, during their school’s “Farm-to-Table” week.  I wanted them to understand the difference between natural and “real” food products like plain milk and plain yogurt, versus the sweetened up versions that many of them are, unfortunately, more accustomed to.

When I asked the kids what kind of yogurt they like, most gave tooty-fruity answers like banana-strawberry or blueberry.  We talked about these kiddie yogurts and how much sweetener most of them contain – upwards of 20 grams of sugar per serving.  The fact that a small portion of that added sugar is from the fruit may help the product slightly – slightly – on the nutritional front, but it is irrelevant when it comes to the taste of the product.  If you haven’t sampled your kid’s Danimals or Gogurt, give it a try.  It will knock you over with the sweet, sweet flavor. 

I see this issue over and over when it comes to many children’s food products, and it’s a subject that I cover extensively in my book, “My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus: Raising Children Who Love to Eat Everything.”  When did we all decide that children need a special variety of yogurt or milk, and that their version must be inferior in flavor (read: overly sweet), as compared to the “adult” or standard product?

As these kids proved to me, given a choice, most will happily try the milk you drink or the yogurt you eat.  If you want to raise a child who loves to eat everything, don’t buy into the line that he should be eating the children’s version!

And this is a perfect segue to mention this week’s Thanksgiving dinner.  A “children’s table” at a house full of relatives is a wonderful tradition many of us share.  But don’t apply that same policy to the meal as well!  Give your kids the same turkey and dressing, squash casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and Grandma’s pumpkin pie that everyone else will be enjoying.  That is, after all, how we pass on the best of our holiday traditions.

Chocolate, Strawberry or Plain Milk... Which Would Your Kids Choose?

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2 Responses to “Children’s Foods and Thanksgiving!”

  1. Crunchy Chewy Mama » Blog Archive » More on healthy food in schools! Says:

    […] check out this related blog post from Nancy Piho, author of My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus: Raising Children to Love to Eat […]

  2. Cheryl Collett, Itty Bitty Foodies - Yummy Adventures with Kids! Says:

    “If you want to raise a child who loves to eat everything, don’t buy into the line that he should be eating the children’s version!”

    Great line! And so so true! Happy Thanksgiving!

    PS have you tried Petit Montrebourg? my two itty bitty foodies are enamoured with it. it’s not cheap but well worth it esp for an occassion like thanksgiving!

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