Thursday, December 23, 2010

Adventurous in Eating

What do water chestnuts, crab legs, cabbage and cherries all have in common for the kids at the Weis household? They are just a few of the many new foods they tried during our 2010 Try New Foods Challenge.

The first three months began with us going through our huge checklist of new and different foods. There were so many to try! The kids were excited and on board. They loved casting their vote for each food (smile face, straight face and frown) and they tried with more zest and vigor then before. No longer did the "new food" sit there like a lone island on their plates.

The next few months proved to be a bit more a challenge and we needed to think outside the box. Themed dinners became common with the kids picking a country which helped us tailor our menus around what they ate in that country.

Then it was summertime and so began the wonderful farmer's markets with the array of fresh fruits and veggies. The kids discovered that they taste better fresh and it helps support our local farmers. We tried a hand at our own family garden and after much planning, tilling and planting we were only able to produce tomatoes and carrots. The chipmunks enjoyed the rest. We learned a lot and will try again next spring.

School began in the Fall and we faltered. Busy busy busy on all sorts of levels pushed this challenge to the back burner. In trying to teach more independence we posted a list on the fridge of "anytime snacks" they could get on their own when hungry. They made up the list of healthy choices and the hardest part was for me to keep things in stocked.

Megan and Lucy also proved an understanding of a well balanced meal and what would provide them with adequate energy throughout the day. They knew carbs from proteins and talked about it at great deal at meals.

Winter has rejuvenated us with the opening of Trader Joe's. A whole new variety is easily accessible to us and sadly and I would love to count the incredible Peppermint JoJo's (oreos) dipped in dark chocolate. mmmm.....

What will 2011 bring? Definitely a new set of goals, things to learn with the kids setting them this time!