Introducing New Foods At Day Care

By: JUDY LYDEN

Scripps Howard News Service

Introducing New Foods At Day Care "I'm tired of it," said Mrs. Lovey to her husband while planning new menus for her Sandbox family day care. "Even with all I do, these children will grow up thinking a fruit peal is made out of tin."

Mr. Lovey just smiled. He knew Mrs. Lovey served good lunches: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits, canned pears and peaches.

A menu might include: homemade pizza with hamburger, sausage and pepperoni, fruit cocktail, and broken bananas. ( She never slices bananas because sliced bananas become "slick.") or baked ham, macaroni and cheese, apple muffins, canned applesauce and pineapple.

At the store, Mrs. Lovey considered the fresh fruits. There were things she knew they wouldn't eat, and strange looking things in the exotic section. Her main concern was that the children would learn to enjoy whatever she bought.

On a Monday, Mrs. Lovey sliced a quarter melon, a fresh apple, a grapefruit, two kiwis and half a fresh pineapple. "It's new," she told her five children who were already eating their lunches. "If you like these, we can make them a part of our lunches."

Ellen, particular in all she did, named the fruits as she helped herself from Mrs. Lovey's tray. "I like kiwi best," she said, "and pineapple is OK too." Anne, ruthless and bold, glared at the kiwi and the melon, "I'll try anything once," and sunk her teeth into an unsugared grapefruit and made a face. "It's good," she winced and pushed the rest of it into her mouth.

Katy, with great bravado sang, "I love it all. What is it?" "Food," said Anne, as she reached for an elusive melon trying to slide out of her juicy hands.

David crossed his arms, not bold like Anne, and not knowing like Ellen, he slunk into his chair, and sulked, "I don't like it." "Dummy," said Anne, trying to battle Katy for the last kiwi.

"Now, Anne," said Mrs. Lovey, "be nice." "I'm not nice; I'm smart," she piped as she gave a piece of grapefruit to Jeffy who was surprised by the taste and didn't know what to do. He had a worried look on his face as he held the fruit between his face and his plate.

"Jeffy, it's good. Believe me." Jeffy looked as though he would cry. Anne quickly substituted a pineapple. "Try it," she demanded.

Jeffy ate the pineapple and a big smile came to his face.

"See. I was right. It's good," she said.

Mrs. Lovey laughed especially at David who finally reached up quietly and took a piece of pineapple. His face lit up at the wonderful fresh taste.

Serving fresh fruit is fun. Kids will enjoy new tastes if they have the old ones to rely on. There are so many to choose from.

Keeping kids interested only means a little experimentation, and a little patience. Kids will do all the work on this one.

(Judy Lyden is a licensed day-care provider. Write to her:
c/o The Evansville Courier, P.O. Box 268, Evansville, IN
47702, or e-mail to jlyden@evansville.net.

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