Eating Tiny Trees

Ever tried to make a kid eat food they don’t want to? I bet you get a headache just thinking about that.

Food is fun, or at least it should be. If you’re someone who likes to eat, chances are that’s something you want to pass down to your kids too. You know what is not fun, fighting with toddlers about what they’re eating. That rarely ends well for anyone. 

We’ve read a lot of guides about getting your kids to expand their palates, but this one from J. Kenji Lopez Alt is one of the most practical – and funniest – we’ve seen. His take? “Kids aren’t picky because they really care about particular foods; they’re picky because it offers one of the few opportunities in their heavily guided and chaperoned lives to express opinions and exercise control.” Instead of fighting it, Kenji recommends giving kids a massive range of choices, and combining that with stealth psychological tricks. He walks the reader through the strategies he uses at home – some more successfully than others – and while the entire article is worth a read, his main takeaway is to embrace the chaos; try not to stress unless something is actually dangerous, let your kids experiment, and have some fun along the way. Really, it’s advice that could apply to most of parenting. But as we head into the weekend and some family meals, we recommend testing out his tricks. Buen Provecho!


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Liz is mom to a baby boy and cofounder of Kunik.


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