Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/should I puree everything in a blender?

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Question
Like many other kids, my 4-year-old son refuses to eat or only eat a very small portion of good things, including vegetables and fish.

So is it a good idea to puree the food in a blender and garnish them in a way that may be more attractive? Also, I imagine you can lie to the child that those chicken/vegetables are something more fanciful for him.

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Answer
Hi Tony, sorry this took me so long, I thought I was on vacation from this sight so if this is not timely that is why.   You are on the right track, puree is a great solution, I use it for myself as I am not a big greens eater but don't even notice them in a fruit and yogurt smoothie.   Lying about a meal does not have malicious intent so I don't see a problem in it.   It is no different than lying about the tooth fairy, Santa or the beach glass just found is an emerald.   Should your child question it then you can assume that strategy did not work on an intelligent child like yours.  I would also consider putting a no thank you helping of the non preferred foods on the plate to help him get used to the look and smell of different foods .   I have observed kids in a government subsidized preschool program in the USA, and which serves nutritious foods learn to try new foods.   At the beginning of the year a lot of food goes in the trash. By the end of the year, most kids are eating everything they are offered.  The program emphasizes family style meals.   The children serve themselves from dishes placed on the table over the adults platting the food.   The rule is they must put a little of everything on their plate.  They are still allowed to turn down eating food and they can take seconds on a preferred food.  There are no ultimatums spoken for example,  "you can have more fruit when you haven finished you vegetable".  I am always amazed to see kids eat raw yam sticks, broccoli,  and meat loaf with onions.   They offer no desert or sweet foods.   The philosophy works well, I wish I had known this when mine were little, I have an adult child who is still a picky eater.  Good luck!
Warmly,
Elizabeth

Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers

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Elizabeth Norris

Expertise

I would like to help you raise children who are respectful and responsible and who seek positive outcomes for themselves and their interactions with others. Each child has their own learning style and each family has their own individual culture. I look for creative ways to address problems or concerns that arise when guiding young children. I am an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and work providing support and ideas to families of young children in the home. I have an understanding of typical and delayed development and can identify red flags in children who can benefit from specialized services. I also teach positive parenting courses to help parents understand why children misbehave and to develop strategies to effectively respond to those behaviors while honoring individual family values. I have a specific interest in children labeled as difficult, attention deficit or oppositional defiant. I am committed to finding ways children can positively participate in family or community activities. I empathize with children who donít feel they are fitting in and for parents who worry and feel criticized. I have a sense of humor and look for ways to reduce frustration and to foster playful interactions.

Experience

As a young child I experienced learning disabilities and had trouble fitting in. I was later diagnosed as dyslexic. My own daughter experienced similar issues and we were simultaneously diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. I have enjoyed working with children, especially those with special needs, for over 30 years. I have provided respite care, emergency foster care coached special Olympics and taught adaptive aquatics. I Worked full time as a classroom aide in a high school special education classroom prior to earning my teaching certificate. I have taught 5th grade, kindergarten and both integrated and self contained special education preschool classes. I have consulted to private preschools and Head Start classrooms regarding mainstreaming children with special needs. I currently work as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and provide home visits to families of developmentally delayed children ages birth to three. I am familiar with programs available to support families who have special education needs. I am particularly interested in supporting children labeled as difficult and fostering supportive environments for learning. I teach positive parenting courses in rural communities.

Organizations
Parenting with Love and Logic INC. Special Olympics

Publications
Good Day Bad Day an inspirational story published in the book Why I Teach.

Education/Credentials
BS Elementary Education University of Oregon 1989 45 hours of graduate coursework in Special Education Oregon Educational Association certified in Early Childhood Special Education. Various teaching strategies and programs for language, cognitive, motor and social development. Strategies to assist families with children who demonstrate challenging behaviors. Parenting with Love and Logic facilitator.

Awards and Honors
Graduated University of Oregon with honors 1989

Past/Present Clients
Public regular education classrooms. Children and families with developmental disabilities. Children and families with behavior challenges. Parents who want to learn new parenting strategies. Parents who are court ordered to attend behavior management courses. Consultation to private and public preschool programs. Professional development to teachers.

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