Parents are always wondering how to get kids to eat more adult foods, and one way to do that is to make sure they’re introduced to a wide variety of them. If we limit what we serve kids to chicken nuggets and raw carrot sticks, they’ll have no choice but build their preferences around those foods.
The New York Times did what most parents wouldn’t dare do to introduce kids them to new foods. Six second-graders from P.S. 295 in Brooklyn were treated to a culinary experience I would love to have — the $220 tasting menu at the French restaurant Daniel.
Their meal and their reactions are a delight to watch.
- Children are ready for real glassware, dishes and utensils much sooner than we give them credit for. These are second-graders, so they're somewhere between 7 and 8 years old, yet they are using stemware, china and knives without disastrous results.
- Fish is good if it’s prepared well. It’s taken me a long time to learn this since I was offered so much poorly prepared fish as a child.
- Perfect table manners are over-rated. These kids behaved perfectly even with some elbows on the table, a few negative comments, and not knowing why there were two knives. Dining should be fun, and they had fun.
- Nobody looks at caviar for the first time and says, “This looks delicious!” but if you try it, you just might like it. Or, you may not.
- I’m adding “To justice and all” and “To vampires” to my go-to toasts.
I also love that the kids dined at the table without adults. I'm sure they were given some instructions on how to behave before they went on camera, but that's exactly how most things are learned — someone teaches you something and then you try it out on your own. These kids handled fine dining and new tastes beautifully.
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