24 March 2008

Let new eaters sample foods from the salad bar

Jill's found a great place to introduce her baby to new foods: the salad bar.

If you have a picky eater, or even just a new eater, and you're sick of throwing away food because you don't know which fruits and veggies they like or will eat, try going to the salad bar at your local grocery store and just get little bits of things to try. Then you'll know what to bother going and buying later.

Whole Foods also has a hot bar with a lot of variety so you can get adventurous without much effort. I fed my litttle guy quiche from there the other day and he loved it! But the yummy homemade mac-n-cheese? Not so much. And even though he used to reject peas, he ate them from my salad. So now I'll start making peas again! Tomorrow I'm going back to load up on some other "samples" of vegies to see if there are new things he likes.

Related: Crudite platter encourages kids to eat their vegies

Your comments

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The salad-bar restaurant Sweet Tomatoes gave me the chance to find out that my DD loves jicama, of all things!

I love this idea! Plus everything is washed and cut up for you! I must try this.

Unless you have one like mine, who will happily gobble down a huge amount of something, and then follow that up by refusing to eat it for the next month!!

Not to be a party pooper, but it always seems like most e-coli outbreaks are linked back to salad bars. It doesn't take much -- something dripped into a bin they were filling before it was carried out -- then tongs get switched between bins, suddenly the whole bar is contaminated. An adult system shakes it off with perhaps some minor upset, kids die. I would be very careful feeding young children from a salad bar.

The salad bar idea seems like a good one since it does provide a wealth of food options to try with kids, but I do agree with Amy that there are some health risks associated with salad bar food sitting out for hours at a time.

My husband and I enjoy shopping at both Costco and Sam's Club on a regular basis and have found success in letting our daughter try some of the samples that are offered by vendors throughout the store for just a few hours. Not only does she get to try a variety of foods, but we get to learn about the items from the vendors and then choose whether or not to buy based on whether or not she likes the item and whether or not it meets our nutritional standards for our family. Plus, the samples keep her entertained throughout the store and by the time we are done she is ready for her nap!

I have to also advise caution with this idea. I worked with food for years and many many place (you really don't want to know just how many places) do NOT follow the food codes they are supposed to. They mix, they leave them out a little longer then they are supposed to, they don't clean utensils well enough between uses (or at all in some cases). I won't repeat the e coli warning for salad bars but I will add that all parents should be especially careful around the hot food bars, children get food poisoning much easier then adults.

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