Sunday, December 26, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do (Sooner or Later)

Kids are always watching, listening and processing – even when you think they’re not. Modeling, copying and mimicking parents, grandparents and other caregivers is how children learn. Kids have radar vision and double decibel hearing.

This week a teacher at my preschool was giving a lesson on Thailand and brought in some fruit for the kids to taste. In front of the children, she asked another adult if she would like to taste the fruit as well. That adult immediately looked down at the fruit being offered and said “No, thank you.”  Well, as you may have guessed children followed suit and refused the fruit as well. 

The fruit was given to another class where the teacher tasted the fruit herself and then asked the kids if they wanted to try it. They did, of course, and declared that it was yummy. In this case, 10 out of 12 kids with some reserve tasted the fruit and loved it.

So how do we as parents and role models change our own eating habits, willingness to try new foods,
and recipes?  We can start by simply changing the way we think about eating healthy food – our attitudes are incredibly influential with children.

I suggest a bit of inspiration and a "baby-steps" approach.

Throughout this blog, I will provide you with delicious recipes and tips designed for adults and children alike. We will take it slowly, one bite at a time. You can also find this community on the Doggity's Facebook page. Doggity's is a new animated show on PBS Sprout about healthy eating. 

Click on this link to to find recipes and watch the show online. You can use Doggity to encourage your kids to eat healthy foods that are "Dog Gone Good." 

Smile, if you are skeptical about Healthy Foods being Knock your sox off delicious – go head and fake it till you make it. In the meantime make a batch of these better for you chocolate chip cookies (Treasure Chest Treats). Relax and enjoy.

Treasure Chest Treats 
(chocolate chip cookies)

1/4 cup lightly salted butter
1/4 cup low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Diced Dried Fruit Pieces, Optional

Preheat oven to 375° F.  

1. In bowl of electric mixer beat butter, cream cheese, sugars and
vanilla until creamy. 

2. Beat in 1 egg. 

2. In small bowl mix together all remaining ingredients except for
chocolate chips and diced dried fruit pieces.

3. Beat flour mixture into creamed mixture until combined.  

4. Beat in chocolate chips.

5. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto lightly greased baking sheet
sprayed with non stick cooking spray.

6. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from oven, immediately press in diced dried fruit pieces to
resemble jewels if desired...

7. Let cookies set on baking sheet for 2 minute before removing to
wire rack to cool completely. 

Yield: 24 cookies

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