Thursday, November 4, 2010
What’s For Lunch?
Typical lunch choices here include the kid standards: hot dogs, dino nuggets, and PB&J or tuna fish sandwiches, but we occasionally enjoy leftovers from dinner or make lunch preparation a project in itself by experimenting with a recipe we find on TV, in a magazine, or exploring a book. B is a pretty adventurous eater, and T is following in his footsteps. I’d like to say that has something to do with an amazing parenting secret I can share with you, but I think we’re just pretty lucky. We encourage our kids to give new things a shot, whether in reference to foods, activities, or even new shoes! I think the best way to help kids broaden their horizons is keep expectations high and avoid underestimating them. If your voice of doubt says, “they’ll never eat that,” then they’ll never get a chance to try.
Curiosity and Geography Shake Things Up in the Kitchen
We were inspired to liven up our lunch menus by a book we recently brought home from the library. B has been very interested in the globe, maps, and people around the world, so I’ve been trying to snatch up books that give a little glimpse into others’ lives. Little did I realize a glimpse would become a taste! This is the Way We Eat Our Lunch, by Edith Baer, is a simple yet entertaining compendium of kids’ lunches around the world. Each page features a two line rhyme with the name of a child and the dish they are enjoying for lunch. Sometimes their location is part of the rhyme, sometimes not. The locations are noted in italics on each page, and the beautiful, full-page, pen-and-watercolor illustrations by Steve Björkman set the scene for each menu. The lunches begin with several American locales, including gumbo in Louisiana and burgers in Kansas, but soon jump overseas to couscous in Moracco and tempura in Japan. The final pages of the book also include a world map with labels for each of the lunch locations, a few recipes to try, and some glossary-style notes on some of the foods mentioned. The final text is a note from the author encouraging children to think of ways to help all children have good food to eat, which can trigger a humanitarian discussion all its own. There is potential here for both cognitive and social development, not to mention some yummy fun!
Appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, primary grades.
What’s for lunch at your house? We’re looking for new ideas!
If you have a book recommendation or activity posted this week, link it up, then check out some other great books and spread the comment love!