Monday, 19 March 2007

Pride of the Pack

As mentioned previously, I'll be doing a fair bit of work getting the kiddiwinks of this world to eat some good food this year in my job. I would like to think I've had some good experience with the little one in my household, Cerys. When she was born, almost the first thing on my mind was how I was going to plan her introduction to food. Without sounding calculated, it just meant so much to me to not have a plan, otherwise how were we going to get her to try new foodstuffs? I've seen too many parents give up. And that is not the answer as there are now too many convenient alternatives that aren't so good.

For any parent reading who has been through this, or is going through this, the message is to persevere. Okay, I'm a food obsessive, not a minute goes by when I'm not thinking about the subject. It was a huge challenge for us and at times it seemed like incredibly hard work. One day enjoying one of my creations, the next, slinging it onto the floor with a firm, 'NO!!!'. Tears, tantrums, stress and sleepless nights. At times I was in the huff with her, good and proper, a big old Davey Hall lip sticking out and a tear in my eye. Shameful stuff.

I was a pretty proud fella tonight when I was watching my daughter eating her tea, so I've had to put up a picture of her eating it. There she was, munching away as happy as ever, on a big bowl of mash, watercress, fennel, smoked mackerel in an orange and mustard sauce (recipe in a previous post this month). And it just seemed to bring it all back. Pretty challenging food for a 2 year old you may think. But I disagree. She is eating it simply because we have encouraged all the way, and tried not to criticise the numerous plates upturned on floors. 4,5,6 attempts, she is usually there eating it. No such thing as 'adult flavours' in our house.

So please, do not get disheartened when this happens. Just smile, say never mind and then the next day, present the same dish. Keep a bit from the previous day in reserve for this. If it happens again, try the same method. This isn't the Gina Ford method of how to feed your child. It is just common sense from somebody who wants their child to eat sensibly and to try something at least once. And it seems to work. So I beg you to try it if you want the same results. I'm not being a smart Alec, I'm not being boastful. I just know how hard it is, but I also know how good it is when it works. Please let me know your stories and if you need any recipes, I would love to help out.


Andy hall said...

Ill keep this in mind when I un-leash my off spring into the world!

Hopefully I can try this soon as I'm getting a bit winded and older and my swimmers are probably doing the doggy paddle and getting tired!

Hope you are well and get in touch I miss you and Helen and Cerys very much!

Twatty older brother Andy!

Anonymous said...

Great advice Dave.
PS You were fab on Masterchef! Keep on cooking!