Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Monday, September 17, 2007

Duck Food? Observing Animals Makes For Playful Eating

You may not know this but, Izzy is a duck. Or so he tells me, quite often. It all began during our travels to Europe, after we saw duck families in both Greve, and Paris. In both locales, we visited the ducks almost daily, as they glided across ponds or waddled on the grass, ducklings trailing behind.

Before too long, Izzy began quacking and flapping his wings and I was unable to address him in the usual fashion. He would insist on being called "duck" or "ducky" instead. If I failed to do so he would admonish, "Why don't you call me duck? I'm a duck, Mama." Oh silly me. I guess I had forgotten.

Observing the ducks feed their young sparked Izzy's curiosity about what they eat. We talked about how they grab food with their beaks from under the water and then mash it up. We also discussed how birds often feed their young, by pre-chewing the food.

One day, when Izzy was merely picking at his food, I picked some up in my hand and said, "Eat up your duck food." He proceeded to bend his head down and nibble the food straight from my hands and then ask for more. "Ingenious," I thought. What a playful way of encouraging him to eat. Granted it might not do wonders in the manners department if used on a regular basis but for those occasions when he is feeling finicky, it might be just the trick. Try it with your child and see, whether it be a duck or a goose or even a rabbit, kids love to emulate their favorite animals.

Hmmm..maybe that would work during school lunch. Just imagine the Montessori teachers feeding Izzy, duck-style... We know that won't be happening anytime soon. Apparently his teachers don't realize he is a duck and when he tells them they refuse to address him as such. He seems disappointed by this so when I went to fill out some school papers for him I was tempted to put "Duck" down as his nickname..

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