Mama Ellen's

A place for thoughts and ideas on everything from family to fois gras.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Kids Raised in a Foodie Family

Both Doug and I are foodies. We love to cook, eat and critique good food. From everything I’ve heard, Doug has always had a relatively extensive pallet and a willingness to try most things. As for myself, I have always had a very sensitive pallet and as a result tend to be pickier. Before Doug and I got married, he had little experience in the kitchen whereas I was practically raised there. So after being together for a few years we started cooking together. Doug learned how to sear and saute while I expanded my range of tastes. We started going to different restaurants and then tried to reproduce some of the meals at home. We would judge the food and try to determine what could have been done differently. Food and wine became a hobby. Over time we became true foodies.

And then Bug was born.

Our culinary experiences changed dramatically after Bug’s birth. He was very colicky and extremely high maintenance. Some may say that is just what happens with a baby. Bug was different. He didn’t sleep, he vomited 9+ times a day, and could only be consoled by me. This meant that our food excursions(at home and out) were put on hold for a long time

Around 10 months, he began to eat more solids and we introduced him into our type of table food. His favorites were steak with A1 sauce, asparagus, and tomatoes. By the way, he would not eat steak cooked past mid-rare because it was “too dry”. The more he tried different foods, the more he became interested in how they were made. So by the time he was 2, he was helping in the kitchen. It has mostly been pour this or stir that type of cooking but recently that has expanded into sauteing onions and even cutting fruit. For Christmas he asked Santa for a juicer so he could squeeze his own OJ. So far he was made OJ, grapefruit juice, apple juice, and strawberry juice. He combined the strawberry juice with lemon yogurt in the blender to make a smoothie. With all this being said, he is our future Chef.

Then there is Boo. Now she has never had the pallet that Bug has, but that is not to say she hasn’t tried. Once again asparagus was a favorite and she also like mashed potatoes. But over time she has become more and more fickle. Granted she is two and toddlers are fickle by nature. Sometimes though she reminds me of my childhood food issues. In the beginning she didn’t like strawberries because they were too bumpy. Anything with too much texture has the potential of being rejected. Things needed to be cooked “just right”. And for these reasons she will be a future Food Critic.

And finally there is Blurg. You might wonder what type of culinary experience a 9 month hold can have. Well, her first love was garlic mashed potatoes, heavy on the garlic. She also likes her potatoes drizzled with a little truffle oil. She like marinated flank steak. Granted, she doesn’t have any teeth, but she will gnaw on the meat like there is no tomorrow. She also likes strawberries, raspberries and sauteed spinach. We don’t know if she will like to cook or critique but she is well on her way to becoming a foodie as well.

So this is what happens when kids are raised in a foodie environment. Now we just need to wait see if these traits follow them into adulthood.


At January 16, 2005 at 1:37 PM, Blogger TFB said...

It sounds like they are off to a good start!
Our culture is not based on truly enjoying food the way it should be.
If people would give gourmet cooking a chance, I think most would find that it is all worth the effort of making a good meal, or the wait I guess if eating out is preferred.
The enjoyment that they get out of helping in the kitchen now will only serve them well in the future.
Good work on aiming to raise kids above the bar of Mac and Cheese!

At January 17, 2005 at 6:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellen - Good morning. This comment has nothing to do with food but with education. Sorry for posting it here but I did not know where else to put it.

I wanted to follow-up on your posting about education for a highly gifted child. I am copying an email with two links to articles that address highly gifted students. The first link is actually to a school in Denver.

The Nashville public schools are working on this issue. Why when we have academic magnet schools for gifted kids? Because, these schools do not address the needs of extremely gifted and talented kids and the challenges they bring with them. The search in Nashville began when a mother of an extremely gifted young boy spoke to our school district head at the airport. He was interested as his brother was also extremely gifted and struggled with the issues she was watching her son work through. Members of the school board and other groups in Nashville visited the school that is in the first link.

I hope this helps --

I look forward to your future posts. Keeps up the great work!


Gifted and Talented Overview from Denver

For purposes of initial exploration and review, a group from MNPS
traveled to Denver to look at two unique programs for gifted and
talented students. The group was composed of Dr. Sandy Johnson, Dr.
Nancy Meador, Joel Orleck, Dr. David Kern, and Marsha Warden. The two
programs that were identified for visitation were the Polaris Program at
Crofton, Denver and Brideun School for Exceptional Children.

Denver Public Schools and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools have
many similarities. They are both large urban school districts with
student enrollments around 72,000. Denver also has a diverse student
American Indian............................1.2%
Denver also has a large ELL population with 14,612 students identified.

Denver provides funding for each school for GT services at the rate of
.25 GT FTE. This equates to $10,576 per school. They have three
options to select from:
Option 1: .5 or greater GT staff position specific to
gifted and talented education
Option 2: Itinerant GT specialist
Option 3: School designed GT program and budget
(see DPS Gifted and Talented Education Department handout)

Both Nashville and Denver provide services to gifted and talented
students. Nashville utilizes the Encore Program and does have a system
wide search process directed at students in the second grade. Denver
also does an annual district wide screening for students every fall.
Every elementary and middle school has a Gifted and Talented (GT)
representative and a school plan for GT services. In addition, Denver
provides a magnet program for students with extraordinary academic
needs, abilities and potential. Polaris is the first Denver school
solely dedicated to meeting the needs of GT students in NE Denver
Polaris opened in September, 2000 at Crofton Elementary. This year
Polaris has 295 students enrolled. (see Polaris handout)

Brideun School for Exceptional Children is a private school located
outside of Denver in Lafayette, Colorado. This program was developed
for gifted and talented students who are also inconsistent learners.
Many of the students at Brideun are twice-exceptional, that is children
who are gifted but also have learning disabilities or other special
needs. They provide a very strong special education support team to
meet the needs of a child with a disability. (see handout) They
provide specialists in the areas of:

Occupational Therapy
Sensory Integration
Speech and Language Pathology
Developmental Vision
School Psychology
Counseling and Guidance
Transformational Breathing
Learning Disabilities
Social Skills and Behavior

At January 17, 2005 at 11:21 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

Elizabeth - Thanks for the info. After some soul searching (and lunch with Bug) this weekend I'm now working on my homeschooling plan. He may end up with a combo learning program, part-time school part-time home school. I'll probably post my thoughts as I work through them. Thanks again!

At November 8, 2005 at 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vegetables are great, but the Heart Start Defibrillator is better (At saving your life, that is ;) ).


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