Where We Grandparents Can Intervene Getting Grandchildren to Eat

AmazonEvery parent worries when their child refuses to eat.  We grandparents have learned that toddlers have a 36 hour food window and you have to think about what they eat over a few days rather on an individual day.  We know grandchildren do not like certain foods, whether their color or the way they look, and will not put the food in their mouths.  We grandparents know to tell them it takes 15 times to develop a taste for a new food.  This works. . . sometimes.

This Grandma loves Science Daily.  Science Daily published an interesting study from Associate Professor Annemarie Olsen from Future Consumer Lab, at the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen on how children want their food served.  Some children prefer to have their food served in a particular way, including in a specific order. Yes, how food is served does make a difference and this is where we grandparents can intervene to get grandchildren to eat!

“The researchers asked 100 schoolchildren, aged 7-8 and 12-14 years, to make a priority list of photos of six different dishes served in three different ways:

  1. With the elements of the food presented separately so they did not touch each other.
  1. As a mix of separate ingredients and ingredients that were mixed together.
  1. With all the food mixed together.”

According to this study, younger girls (ages 7-8) preferred that the food was presented separately so they did not touch each other, while younger boys (ages 7-8) did not have a preference.

According to this study, children (ages 12-14) preferred food to be either mixed together or served both as a mix of separate and mixed together ingredients.

The take away is that is better to serve children with the elements of the food separately so they do not touch each other.

So, what can we grandparents do now that we know the results of this study?  Color code, of course.  Buy sectioned food plates, of course.


Amazon has the best variety of different colors, styles and even pictures of food to go in the sections.


Again, Amazon has the best variety, even for us on diets.   I love the ones in Spanish or English and colorful with the sections named.  I love the ones that you can put in lunch boxes that separate the sandwich and the extras.  I love the suction one for high chairs that came in this batch and not the toddler and baby batch, and I am sure with some of our older grandchildren, we would not mind plates with suction cups on the table.

As with everything, if you can have the grandchild pick the ones he or she likes, then grandma has gotten a gift as well as something practical.

Now, this Grandma understands why sectioned plates abound–even for adult buffets serving.  Did we really need a study?  Probably not, but it is better to have it to show the parents of our grandchildren.  As a matter of fact, I prefer sectioned plates for myself.  I guess it is true that I have never grown up.





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