Lunch Tray Friday Buffet: October 1, 2010

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 1, 2010

On tap for today’s Buffet, the results of our reader poll; a blog that pulls no punches; and a plea for feedback.

Making Kids’ Food Cute – Results of the TLT Reader Poll

The results are in from my TLT Reader Poll — another shining example of sound survey design (not) — regarding making kids’ food cute (pancake teddy bears, heart-shaped sandwiches, etc.).   Interestingly, TLT readers were perfectly divided between thinking that such efforts were A-OK versus a sign of too much parental involvement in whether kids eat or not.

I think reader Bri summed it up best (at least for me) in her comment:

I’m more in the camp of “if it’s cute for cute’s sake, then fine” — meaning that I’m not above cutting out my kids’ pancakes in heart shapes on Valentine’s Day, or making Christmas-tree shaped sandwiches when my 4 year old is in a festive mood. To me, that’s just part of fun presentation and is the kind of thing that I will reserve for, say, a night when we’re out and the kids are eating with a babysitter, so they have something that makes their evening feel special. But the idea that food NEEDS to be cute for a kid to eat it does make me hesitant. Is cute, or at the very least, nice presentation an integral part of the food experience? It should be. We all eat with our eyes first. But once you start down the slippery slope of cutting out all the veggies to look like the Backyardigans, I wonder if you’ve started to lose some perspective on parental roles.

BTW, for those of you who are in the Pro-Cuteness camp, here’s a feature from Oprah’s website (that I meant to post earlier in the month) on making kids’ lunches fun.

No Holds Barred

Through Dr. Susan Rubin (Better School Food), I discovered a new blog today:  The Wellness Bitch.  Whereas on TLT I try to be as diplomatic as possible — always mindful that not all parents share my views, always conscious of my working relationship with my school district — The Wellness Bitch has no such qualms.  Be prepared for some off-color language and in-your-face ‘tude, but I think you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement with a lot of what she has to say.  Her topics are pretty broad – not just food by any means – but I personally appreciated this post — by a guest blogger — called “Get a Grip, Soccer Mom“.  Thanks again, Susan, for posting to your FB page.

Feedback?  .  . .  Anyone?  . . .  Anyone?

And speaking of FB pages, over on TLT’s FB fan page (and if you’re not yet a fan, ask yourself why you’re cruelly holding out  on me) I solicited feedback and I’ll repeat the request here.  As I was writing this week’s posts on bento (here and here), I was thinking, I’m sure the TLT readership is going to find this stuff too frivolous, as compared to meaty school food reform issues I often cover.  And then I watched Wednesdays site stats climb and climb to a near-record level.  So, either you all are secret bento fans or –more likely — maybe you actually like it when I leaven the reform stuff with the lighter fare?

At any rate, if you have some feedback on what sorts of stuff you’ve particularly liked on TLT, or would like to see more of in the future, would you mind taking a second and either sharing it in a comment below or contacting me directly (using the Contact tab)?

Many thanks, and have a great weekend, everyone.  More Lunch Tray on Monday!

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