Seeing the transformation in my own home, as well as the growing literature on the health and wellness benefits of eating well, guided by internal cues of hunger and fullness, convinced me that helping children grow up to be competent eaters is preventive medicine.
Given the way taste and eating acclimation works, modern food alteration is undoubtedly a factor in today's picky eaters, but I believe there is a second, less recognized factor fueling the new wave of fussy eaters: anxiety.
You can easily see how a less food-savvy parent might conclude that feeding a child Mango Cremes is actually a net positive -- the same as offering fruit, when of course a Mango Creme is, in the end, a highly processed, white flour cookie.
Milk will be spilled, dresses will get dirty but if we're all lucky, it'll be a sugar-fueled fest to remember. I'm not advocating sloppy eating habits forever, just a break from helicoptering in the kitchen until Dec. 26
I'm a big believer in the family meal, in sitting down at the table and breaking bread together. I ate in front of the TV growing up and look how I turned out. I want my kids to have a better upbringing. Or at least a better sense of the place of family and food.
All due respect to the food historians who synced up the birthday of the dude who invented peanut butter and blocked off January 24th to honor it, I've come up with 10 food holidays I'd love to celebrate. Any takers?