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4 hours ago

It's apple season! Come on down to the co-op and celebrate with us! 15% off all apple varieties each Tuesday in October!

18 hours ago

OWNER DEAL ALERT: Every Day Dal are inspired by the lentil dishes (called dals) cooked in a variety of ways by Indians worldwide. Enjoy them on their own or with your favorite grain. These plant-based proteins are so satisfying you’ll want to eat them Everyday! On sales for Owners ($3.49/ea) through 10/15!

1 day ago

Are you a super cooperator? Are you looking for a job in a business that has a direct impact on people, planet, and the community every single day? We are searching to find dedicated staff members to fulfill several full-time food service clerk positions. We look for applicants who understand the importance of giving great customer service to every person who chooses to shop with us. To our staff, we offer a workplace that is not only positive and respectful, but also can teach you valuable skills to carry on throughout your career, either at the Co-op or in another endeavor.

Interested? ... See more

1 day ago

Dear Open Harvest Owners and Patrons,

What an awesome thing Open Harvest has going!

This is my first reflection since I’ve been on the board, so I’d like to express a few points.

First, we are in the black. It’s not been easy for co-ops to weather the current storm of chain grocery stores entering new markets, but we have done that, and the board has consistently voiced faith in our current General Manager. Amy has worked tirelessly to keep the co-op afloat since we’ve had increased local and online competition over the last five or so years; not only that but we are now starting ... See more

Dear Open Harvest Owners and Patrons, What an awesome thing Open Harvest has going! This is my first reflection since I’ve been on the board, so I’d like to express a few points. First, we are in the black. It’s not been easy for co-ops to weather the current storm of chain grocery stores e

1 day ago

Have you tried our deli's own mini cheddar meatloaf? Pair with some fresh made deli sides and you have yourself an easy & delicious dinner for two ! 🤤🥰

30% off while supplies last! Ends Tuesday!

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Expanding Your Child’s Palate

There is nothing that can turn a good day to bad faster than coming home and trying to feed your child dinner (emphasis on the trying.) It can be a very frustrating experience if your child has limited foods they are willing to eat or if they liked something last week only to absolutely hate it this week. As parents we want what is best for our children in all things, including a healthy diet. But how do you get kids to expand their palate beyond chicken fingers and yogurt? As a parent of an almost 8-year-old boy, A.J., I’ve made my share of missteps, and tears have been shed at our dinner table in the early years (by us both), but we’ve come to an agreement of sorts.

Try, try and try again

Experts in the field of nutrition will tell you that it can take up to thirteen times of trying a new food before someone will accept it. Thirteen times! While that level of persistence can seem daunting, familiarity does breed acceptance. The mantra (my husband and I don’t call it a rule) in our household is, “We only ask that you try it.” If A.J. doesn’t like something on his plate we ask him to eat what he does like, and he can have a snack before bed if he’s still hungry. If your child is between four and eight, the perennial parents’ friend Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham can be an effective teaching tool for the “just try it” motto, but in our house nothing beats modeling the behavior. Even though this prompts A.J. to mischievously ask his dad to give olives one more try—because you never know when you might like them. While my husband is not happy to eat olives every now again (he still loathes them), it has reinforced the “trying” attitude with great effect. I count myself lucky that the one food I have an aversion to (truffle oil) is not something we keep in the house!

Opening up the food frontier

Kids love adventure, and making dinnertime a fun experience can really open up their willingness to try new things. Just getting kids involved can make a huge difference. Our co-op has little kids’ shopping carts, and while using one makes the shopping a little s-l-o-w-e-r, our son loves pushing it around and filling it up. It has been designated the “produce only” cart, the “only new things to try” cart and even the “A.J.’s lunchbox” cart. Allowing him to pick out items and place them in his own cart gives him a sense of ownership and pride. He always seems more willing to try something new when he picks it out.

Once A.J. picks something out to try, we like to keep the positive momentum going by involving him in meal prep. Not all kids like to be involved in the kitchen, and sometimes he doesn’t either, but when he’s up for it, we seize the moment. What can make a kid feel more grown up and accomplished than cooking dinner for his family? Measuring, stirring, and tasting are all parts of cooking that kids can do at any age. When A.J. was younger, we let him cut up herbs and softer items with a pizza cutter. It is a great tool to keep little fingers safe! And he loves that we always have to taste the food to adjust seasoning and make sure it’s just right. (And that sweet little tilt of the head and suggestion that maybe it needs a little more x, y, or z is a priceless memory in the making.)

At home and in the kids’ cooking classes I teach, I find introducing new foods in savory and sweet combinations and combining a new flavor with a familiar one to be successful strategies for expanding kids’ palates. One successful example is Roasted Pears and Carrots. Cooked carrots may be old hat for some kids, but cooked pears? The savory and sweet combo appeals to kiddie palates as well as those of adults. Another sweet and savory hit is Hoisin Roasted Cauliflower. This is a dish you can proudly serve to company (big and little people both).

Involving your child in food decisions, modeling “just try it” behavior, creating opportunities for your child to try new foods and letting them help with food prep are all great ways to encourage your child to expand their palate. This approach is working most of the time with A.J. so far, and I hope it continues long into the future as there are so many wonderful foods to taste and explore!

Check out Molly’s recipes for expanding your child’s palate: