When you’re four years old, you can’t wait until you’re four-and-a-half.
When you’re eight, twelve-year-olds are like gods.
The twelve-year-olds just want to be thirteen (a real teenager!) and the 13-year-olds just can’t wait until they can drive.
Sweet sixteen gets sour quickly and kids want to be a "real adult."
When you’re finally 18, you start pining for 21.
(And the 30-year-olds would give anything to be 20 again, of course.)
When you’re young, you always want to be older – and your parents usually want you to stay little.
On most things, I agree with that. I don’t want my kids to grow up too fast.
Except with food.
I dished out at Attune this week about pushing my kids’ tastebuds to grow up and how we foster mature palates:
Kids menus at restaurants drive me crazy.
I know they’re speaking to the majority, but they’re a perfect example of how we set such low expectations for kids’ tastebuds and food preferences that of course they’re going to meet those goals. Why would they ask for salad or hummus or vegetables au gratin when they’re offered addicting fast food fare all. the. time?
When we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant, my daughter will end up with a hamburger and French fries.
A kids’ menu should have smaller versions of the adult food, reducing portions, not reducing variety and flavor.
I feel genuinely sorry for those kids who eat like a children’s menu all the time, because I know there are many in our country.
American school lunch menus pander to these kids’ narrow palates as well, serving burgers, breaded chicken (nuggets or on a bun, wow, variety!), pizza, hot dogs, and maybe a quesadilla, taco, or nachos.
It’s a sad culinary landscape for children.
In our house, everyone eats the same food. Sometimes I’ll toss frozen peas on the plates of my three children, ages eight, five, and almost two, when we’re having asparagus as the side vegetable, because two of the three don’t care for it (yet). Even then, I feel a twinge of guilt for being a “short order cook,” although I don’t cook the peas.
I’m a paid writer for Attune and happy to send you over that way…the rest of the bloggers are fantastic, too, and I always read a few articles while I’m there.