Military Spouse Magazine

SEP 2018

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I t 's a f a m ilia r s c e n a r io . Spending hours in the kitchen preparing a perfectly balanced, healthy meal, only to watch the kids spit it out after the first bite. And for military families, a picky eater can be especially challenging when moving or traveling means nutritious, go-to foods are hard to come by. Fostering fun and explo- ration with food can make all the difference for kids when it comes to eating, says Arielle "Dani" Lebovitz, an Air Force spouse and registered dietitian. Dani encourages families to raise "food explorers," children who actively use their five senses to discover new flavors, experience unknown textures, and learn about new foods and cultures. Dani is the author of, "Where Do Bananas Come From? A Book of Fruits," a food discovery book that educates children about where fruits come from, how they are grown, and the impact they have on their growing bodies. "The idea to start a book series educating children about whole foods came to Mealtime | Funtime How to raise food explorers. By April Deocariza, Air Force Spouse W H A T W E L O V E There can be many factors that contribute to a child being a picky eater, including food flavors or textures, allergies or an unpleasant food experience. In some cases, picky eating can also be a form of control, comfort and autonomy. me in 2011 on a pineapple farm in Belize. At the time, I could tell you how to pick the perfect pineapple and the benefits of eating them, but I had never seen how they were grown. From that experience, I learned so many fun new facts, such as how a pineapple plant only produces one fruit a year, which is why they are so expensive." Military families have unique opportunities for food adventures when they move around the coun- try and across the world. Exposing young palates to new tastes can create more adventurous and open-minded eaters, which can have a lasting impact. Dani shares her five tips for transforming your child from picky to adventurous: 12 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018

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