Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Series: Beyond the Table

I know what you are thinking: "First she asks us to go Beyond Prenatals and to actually eat healthy food instead of relying on supplements, and now she is asking us to go Beyond the Table? What does that even mean?" Read on...

There is a plethora of parenting information attempting to teach parents how to get their kids to eat healthy food. To summarize briefly, according to most websites and magazines, you need to create funky sauces, cut out cute shapes from bread and vegetables, sneak vegetable puree into their muffins, and continue to introduce food at least 15 times before agreeing that the kid just doesn't like it.

Those ideas may work, but I am proposing another idea that will: A) Try to prevent the problem in the first place, and B) Accelerate any of the above attempts to cajole your adorable children into healthier food.

If you have been following the foodie world lately, you may have noticed a trend to get kids into the kitchen. Specifically, I am thinking of three New York Times articles promoting this concept. You can read them here, here, and here.

These articles are really great but they focus on preschool and kindergarten children learning their way around the kitchen. I would like to see kids in the kitchen at an even younger age! The younger, the better. Kids who spend time in the kitchen learn about food, science, nutrition, colors, smell, counting, measuring, and texture. Assisting in creating something from nothing also builds the confidence kids need and the independence they crave. Plus, they are much more likely to eat food that they themselves helped to prepare.

Beyond the Table will be a new series on this blog that will showcase the many ways in which kids of all ages can hang out and help out in the kitchen. Going Beyond Prenatals is not just about eating healthy during pregnancy, but encouraging parents to create positive kitchen interactions in childhood to encourage healthy eating and good memories. You benefit too, by always having an activity on hand! Many of the Beyond the Table posts will be about my family and my friend's family kitchen and food adventures. Some posts will discuss current news and research on this subject. If you are interested in a guest post for this series, e-mail

Check back tomorrow for the first series (don't worry, it will be an easy one!)

Related post: Six Food Mistakes Turned Lessons


  1. Looking forward to reading tomorrows article!

    I can't wait for T.J. to help me in the kitchen! I can picture us baking (healthy!) cupcakes, and decorating them, rolling cookies dough in our hands, mixing in giant bowls, and maybe even letting her lick the spoons every once in a while!

  2. She is going to be great, just like her mom!! In the meantime, let her hang out with you in the kitchen so she can be exposed to many sounds and smells.

  3. I always have her in her highchair when I'm cooking (if she's not sleeping etc!) I have some great (read: pathetic) shots of her "baking" for the different holidays - hamentaschen etc while I was pregnant! All for the scrapbook!