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Should Parents Feed Their Children Kid-Friendly Foods?

Recently I have read a few interesting articles about the foods parents feed their children. There are those who believe that kids should not eat grown up food and instead be fed a diet of plain buttered pasta, chicken strips, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. On the other hand, there are an increasing number of advocates who feel that kids should eat exactly what the adults are eating. In fact, some claim that giving kids spaghetti-O's instead of the ragu you are eating will cause kids to become picky and unhealthy eaters when they grow up. Rachael Ray claims that she ate anchovies and other unusual foods as a youngster because her parents exposed her to these foods at an early age. Ruth Reichl, of Gourmet magazine, in her March editor's letter rants about irresponsible adults who feed their children dinosaur shaped chicken and heart shaped sandwiches. Where do you stand on this issue readers? Should parents feed their children kid friendly foods?

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missjaime missjaime 9 years
Kiddie food is well and good, but I'd much rather have my kids grow up to be adventurous eaters. Life is so much more fun that way. When my husband and I have kids, I want to expose them to all sorts of culinary styles from typical American comfort food like Mac and Cheese and Chicken fingers to exotic Lebanese dishes like hummus, baba ganoush and tabouleh.
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 10 years
of course they should! The kids need to enjoy the tasty kiddy food while they can, so then when they grow theyll remember the day when they ate those high carb stuff they cant now. It helps their childhood, it helps in every way! It hard to explain
CindySue54 CindySue54 10 years
I firmly believe that children should, within reason, eat what is put in front of them. If a child has a very strong, negative reaction to a certain food after at least 2 attempts to eat is, fine leave it off the menu....but otherwise they eat what they are served or they do without. I have 2 now adult children and this is how they were raised....and this is how I was raised. They were never forced to eat anything, but they also knew that there was nothing to eat until the next meal if they refused to eat. Now, this isn't saying that we never had "kid friendly" foods, we did. But whatever was served was eaten or they did without. There was no argument, no discussion, no "convincing". Eat it or not, that's all there is. Today my daughter is a picky eater, always has been, but is still willing to at least try new things. My son will eat anything. For my brother and I, the same thing....he's very picky, I'll try almost anything
The-New-Black The-New-Black 10 years
kids today are too spoiled. but still shouldn't be forced to eat Brussels sprouts or liver.
poetess poetess 10 years
As long as the child is receiving the proper nutrients, it really doesn't matter. I believe that happy meals and child geared meals from fast food joints and some restaurants that come with toys and other incentives (crayons, drawing books) are particularly dangerous. It rewards a child for eating poor food choices.
pink_orchid pink_orchid 10 years
i have two neices : one was allowed to be picky and only eat rice and pancakes, or junk food as she wanted as a kid. now she will only eat junk food or other unhealthy things because she was allowed to pick her food. her sister was encouraged to try things more (she is younger) and will now give anything a try and eat mostly whatever she is given. i think it is important to minimize the choices to his healthy thing or that healthy thing. not a choice between veggies and pancakes. I cannot get her oldest to eat anything now that isnt junk or rice when she is at my house. it is discouraging but it was an eye opener for when i have kids.
mrsjacki mrsjacki 10 years
As a rule of thumb around my house, I don't make my kids eat anything I wouldn't. I try to do a good balance of healthy food and not so healthy (i.e happy meals, ice cream,etc.). And I let the older one pick and choose what she wants to eat. And as a result she is a healthy eater. She enjoys veggies and salads. When asked what she wants for dinner, she says either a potato with broccoli and cheese or a salad with thousand island. But then again we are really lucky. And this method probably wouldn't work with every kid. Jacki _______________________________________________________________ Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life.
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
My mum is mediterranean and found it insulting to feed kids crappy pastas from a can or Kraft Dinner (what they call Mac n' Cheese in Canada). We ate adult food, we also had thimble-sized sips of wine on weekends starting from the age of 6. I'm now incredibly adventurous with food and it has served me well travelling around the world. :D
jessiedallas jessiedallas 10 years
my sister and i are two years apart (she's younger) so my parents did the same thing with the both of us, so i think this just proves it depends on the person. she will eat anything, try anything, she likes seafood and snails (when we were in europe). i don't consider myself picky, and i will try anything once, but i don't like seafood and mustard. the only thing i have never tried is the snails (es-car-go is how you say it). but i like to try alot of diffrent game meat...venison, elk, buffalo, etc. my parents never forced anything on us, they just let us have whatever we wanted.
arihm arihm 10 years
kids should be exposed to all sorts of delicious foods. Heart shaped sandwiches is one thing, but dinosaur shaped 'chicken' nuggets is one thing. having a large palette at a young age will help you enjoy many different foods when you are older.
chancleta chancleta 10 years
I think kids should be exposed to all kinds of yummy culinary treats from all over the world. Expose those pallettes.
calibabi calibabi 10 years
i think that both kid foods and adult foods are okay. i still eat spaghetti-o's every now and then! haha.
Food Food 10 years
My mom used to do this tricky thing where she would horde whatever it was she wanted us to eat and talk about how great it was and then not give us any (we're talking about weird stuff like chicken hearts). She would reserve a little bit for us and my brother and sister and I would fight over who got to eat the piece. Sneaky, but somehow it worked. I mean why else would three under 10 year old kids fight over chicken hearts??? (Which, by the way, can be absolutely delicious.)
susanec susanec 10 years
Gotta disagree with the trick of telling kids that food is something when it's not. I could spot that one a mile away and it just caused me to give up the real food, out of spite. Bad, bad idea.
susanec susanec 10 years
My mom tried everything to get me to eat but I had "texture issues" and pretty much hated everything. I'm still picky but I try. But I've never eaten boxed macaroni and cheese. Balance is best, do what you can.
LuckyGrl-83 LuckyGrl-83 10 years
oh.. one sly trick i learned from my mom... when my younger siblings were growing up i noticed that in order to have them eat shrimp and lobster or any kind of fishy produce she would tell them it was chicken... and it WORKED!!! eventually when they got a little older they realized it was actually seafood but they already liked it so it wasn't a big deal :) lol
LuckyGrl-83 LuckyGrl-83 10 years
I think as a general rule, that kids who are exposed to different kinds of food grow up to become non-picky eaters. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. i grew up eating all kinds of food my parents would eat too like artichokes, olives, asparagus, mushrooms, lamb, veal, and all kinds of vegetables and i believe that its because of their persistence for me to try new things that i today have very few dislikes when it comes to food. My dislikes are: bologna, hotdogs (i know...), anchovies, and eggplant... thats it! :) lol Also, i recall reading somewhere that it takes a kid on average 27 tastes to realize if he really likes a certain food or not... that means parents need to be patient and persistent (without being too pushy) when introducing ids to new foods... they may not like it the first few tastes, but chances are that after a few more tastes, they'll like it :)
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
Young toddlers can start with kid-friendly foods, but parents should slowly start to weave in grown-up foods too. Otherwise you will have a picky eater on your hands!
nicolevanmeter nicolevanmeter 10 years
I always grew up having to try everything, and now I couldn't be more glad that my parents made me try new stuff. I'm glad I'm not picky I would be missing out on all kinds of good food.
Katharine Katharine 10 years
My mom had a rule that we had to try everything and have at least 3 bites. She didn't do it with thinks she considered to be "weird" though like liver. Now I eat almost anything and will try everything (without meat). My husband though only had kid friendly foods and now is the pickiest eater I know. He won't even try new things. I think kid friendly foods (mac and cheese, chicken nuggets) are fine sometimes but it shouldn't be an everyday things because it's the only thing they will eat.
redsugar redsugar 10 years
We feed our two-year old what we eat and kid-friendly foods. Sometimes he likes them and sometimes he doesn't. The only foods I wouldn't let him try right now are really spicy ones.
Athena1 Athena1 10 years
I think variety and moderation are important. I am not a picky eater, and I love all kinds of food because my family would feed me all sorts of things at a young age. I love food as a result too. It opens up their palate, and eases them in to discovering new things. As long as parents follow certain guidelines, they should feed their kids a variety of things. I'm certainly going to try that if I have kids.
athenac athenac 10 years
My parents exposed me to all kinds of foods, and I'm not a picky eater at all. I love all things culinary. My brother, on the other hand, was fed the canned pastas and tv dinners, and he is one of the pickiest eaters I know.
Pinkrabbit Pinkrabbit 10 years
I never got to pick out my own food when I was really younger my mom just fed me kid food. I grew up a little it was actually my grandma that would FORCE me to eat grown up food and finish it all! To this day I won't forgive my grandma because I don't like to try new food because (even though I don't have to) I feel like I need to eat it all if I make it or order it. Now I am a grown up going to restraunts and getting Grilled cheese sandwiches. It's embarressing. I think that you should let your child try everything, but also tell them that they should try new things even if it doesn't smell/look good. I say make grown up meals but call it something else. Kids won't want to eat "lamb stew" beacuse they think of a little lamb in their tummy but if you call it Stew of the New world or something ridiculous kids will love it (if it tastes good). The kids I watched one time wouldn't eat yellow food for a while and so for lunch I would make mac and cheese and just put food coloring in it. They loved it! :D You really just have to know and pay attention to your kids. Everyone is different. *Shrugs*
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
I'm a very picky eater too although my taste has evolved as an adult. Still to this day I don't eat fruits or drink milk I can't even smell it!
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