We're an ordinary family, complete with picky eaters, budget concerns, and time management issues. But to prove that "eating local" works - even for busy families in cooler climates - we're trading Chick-Fil-A and goldfish crackers for grassfed meat and local produce. Join our adventure in learning to eat (sort of) sustainably for the summer!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby's first dinner party

Every parent knows that having kids help plan the week's menu is supposed to get them invested in the process, which in turn will make them more likely to eat what shows up at dinnertime.  Great in theory, a little less so in practice.  But with the countdown for eating local looming in the near future, and a whole lot of Liza's favorite foods about to hit the trash because they're packed full of chemicals and/or come from Tajikistan, I figured we'd better buckle down and start training her to at least try to eat what's put in front of her.

Operation "Less Whine, More Cheese" began yesterday, when I had her plan an entire meal for the family based on foods that she would actually eat.  She picked it, I edited the menu so it actually contained all major food groups, and we all had it for dinner.  As an added incentive to make this a special treat for her, she was allowed to invite a neighborhood friend over to share the dinner.

Liza helped make the pizza dough, washed all the fruit for the fruit salad, and even sliced up some of the softer fruits herself.  And while I was working on the rest, she helped unload the dishwasher and clear the junk off the table - with no nagging, no whining, and no threatening.  Witness the wonder of a child volunteering to set the table:

She played nicely with the friend while the pizzas were cooking, and she sat - in her chair - at the table for the whole meal and didn't run right off when she was done with her last bite.  We had a conversation.  And chocolate ice cream, since she did, indeed, eat everything on her plate.

Her only regret was that we forgot to light the candles to make it an "extra special dinner party for our guest." I told her we can try to remember to do that next week when she gets to plan another meal, which she thought was the best idea ever.  I'm pretty sure she's already working on the menu ...

... let's just hope next week's menu doesn't involve organic strawberries from Mexico, an organic pear from Argentina, grapes from Chile, and Mandarin oranges from wherever Costco found them growing before they put them in a can.  Because I felt pretty hypocritical buying the United Nations of fruit salads in order to work towards getting the kid to "eat local."  Ohio's strawberry season can't come soon enough for either of us ...

No comments:

Post a Comment