We’re often asked what tricks we employ to get our daughter to eat. Everywhere we go, people are normally pretty amazed at her un-finicky eating habits. I wouldn’t say she eats everything with extreme relish. And she (and her parents, frankly) is a rather skinny kid: always falling around 5-20% of the national average for her age, she’s not bony but just slim. But put a plate of frisee in front of her, or some sushi? It will be eaten.
I’m not 100% sure what to point to. We never gave her baby food. She breastfed for(ever) a long time; she only got her first experience with real food when she was around 14 months. I’m a from-scratch cook, and she’s always had a place in the kitchen. Of course she’s had an extended upbringing within the garden itself. She loves her chickens’ eggs.
I guess we do kind of hold the line at the table, too: we don’t have much tolerance for pickiness. Even with her least favorite things (sauerkraut, turnips) there’s usually something else to eat that she loves. Tom is a picky eater (extremely so) and I try very hard for the girl to never see this or notice this. (He’s not allowed to complain, for one, within her earshot.) And we do play certain games with our food. Take salad, for example. As you well know, we eat a lot of salad around here. She can tell you what’s what in her bowl because she’s planted it or picked it. “That’s Brune d’Hiver, and that’s my favorite, Freckles,” she’ll say, “and that’s your favorite Amish stuff Mama, and that’s Nana’s arugula.”
Maybe she eats so well because her parents love to eat? Each dinner is a celebration, really. The warmth and happiness of the dinner table is my favorite time of day. I guess it’s rubbing off on her, too.