Kid Ever since the first of our three children were born, I’ve been trying to uncover the secret sauce that turns babies, toddlers, preschoolers and even their older counterparts into tiny people who enjoy eating real food. People who are open to trying new flavors and eatingvegetables, fresh fruit and whole foods like it’s no big thing. Less processed food, more homemade but not too much of either one. To learn how to sit, savor and appreciate good food. After four years of feeding babies, reading books, interviewing everyone and two years of blogging about it, I’ve figured a few things out. Not everything, but some tidbits are good enough to share and this is the biggest one: The whole thing is only half recipes; the other half is behavior. If you’re looking for a new strategy for your family this year, here are the food rules that work for us:

1. Everyone (over the age of 2) eats the same meal. No special requests, no substitutes for anyone who has all of her teeth. I do try to be fair (and stack the deck in favor of success) by adding a couple of choices and also paying attention to each person’s favorite ingredients so there’s always something for everyone in each meal.

2. Add spinach to everything. Eggs, brownies, I’ll make anything “Florentine.” It’s not sneaky, because I tell the kids it’s going in. I’m just looking for new angles for getting more of the good stuff into those tiny bodies. Ditto for wheat germ, flaxseed and chia seeds. Also, we eat whole wheat everything: pasta, bread, pitas. The kids don’t know any different and it’s so much better for them.

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